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Local firework ordinances for the holiday weekend


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, local governments are reminding residents what is and is not legal when using fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.

Generally, Michigan law prohibits the use of fireworks between midnight to 8 a.m. in areas of 50,000 residents or more. Smaller communities prohibit firecracker use between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Fireworks can be used the day before, the day of and the day after a national holiday.

In the city of Kentwood, fire lanterns have been banned, following a building fire which occurred last Fourth of July, according to Kentwood Fire Marshall Tim Maday.

Violations of such ordinances can cost consumers up to $500 in fines. In addition, damaging property or selling fireworks to a minor can be punishable by a misdemeanor.

Making sure your fireworks are safe and legal


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- With the Fourth of July next weekend, firework enthusiasts have already started to ignite the sky, but is it legal?

In 2011, Michigan amended its list of legal firecrackers to add what some would call the "big-guys." The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act allows the sale and use of consumer-grade fireworks; while the Bureau of Fire Services was given the task of inspecting retail locations, including pop-up tents commonly found in parking lots.

Greg Clawson, manager at Jake's Fireworks in Kentwood, said the best way to ensure the fireworks you purchase are legal is to check for permit and insurance notes posted near the entry or checkout of the store. In addition, larger firecrackers, which were not allowed in the state of Michigan just five years ago, should include a 'UN' code and "1.4G" labeling on its packaging.

"That means they are legal to ship and legal to sell," Clawson said.

Allegiant returns G.R.-Ft. Lauderdale flight


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Allegiant Airlines has announced that starting in December, it will resume seasonal non-stop flights between Grand Rapids and Fort Lauderdale.

"We're pleased to bring back seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale and re-open a popular destination for Michigan travelers," said Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company senior vice president of planning. "We saw strong demand for Fort Lauderdale flights after our brief hiatus, and we're happy to make affordable vacations in Fort Lauderdale possible once again."

Flight days, times and the lowest fares can be found at Allegiant.com.

Trader Joe's opening Kentwood store Sept. 25


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Trader Joe's has set a grand opening date for it's first store in West Michigan.

The grocery store, located at 3684 28th Street SE, opens Friday, Sept. 25 at 8 a.m. It will be located across from Centerpointe Mall on the south side of 28th Street.

Grand Rapids area residents can expect to find Trader Joe's "Fearless Flyer" newsletter in their mailboxes after the grand opening.

Trader Joe's carries more than 3,000 items under its private label, according to a release from the company.

This will be the seventh Trader Joe's in Michigan. The others are located in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Guiding Light Mission opens new home for men recovering from drugs


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- We've told you over the last several months about the growing problem of drug use and overdose deaths from heroin in West Michigan.

It's hard to overcome, and when you do start to make progress it can be difficult to find a place to live.

Guidling Light Mission is trying to help. On Tuesday, they opened the county's third private housing facility to help people going through recovery. It's in Kentwood and called the Iron House. It's a four-plex with two men living in each unit.

The men each pay rent to help keep them accountable, re-engage with society, and stay clean.


Kentwood company moving toothbrush production back from China


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - A company that outsourced some of its manufacturing to China years ago is bringing work back to West Michigan.

Ranir is headquartered in Kentwood. The company makes oral care products for consumers around the world.

Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development Greg McCormick says the company moved some of that back to Michigan this month. He says they were challenged by one of their current customers to make their electric brush heads in the USA.

"Walmart challenged all their vendors to look at the opportunity for made-in-the-USA manufacturing. They felt like it was an important initiative for them and their consumers to bring jobs back to the U.S."

Arson suspected in Kentwood business fire


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Investigators believe someone broke into a Kentwood comercial complex and intentionally set a fire early Thursday morning that destroyed one business and damaged four others.

Crews were called to the building on Eastern Avenue south of 44th Street SE around 1:45 a.m. after receiving a report from a witness who had seen smoke coming out of the building.

Kentwood police say when they arrived on the scene they found the bottom of a glass door was broken and landscaping stones nearby were possibly used. Employees say the door was intact when they left at 10:30 p.m.

The fire was set on a wood shelf, investigators said.

One of the building's businesses was gutted by fire, while the surrounding businesses sustained smoke and water damage.

Kentwood investigators say the building has no fire suppression system.