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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.

Ford Airport adds new parking garage roof

Ford Airport adds new parking garage roof


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has a number of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, including a new fourth level parking garage roof.

The parking deck officially opened Wednesday with a brief ribbon cutting.

Construction on the parking deck roof began in mid-March. The addition of the roof will open up 1,138 additional covered parking spaces. The garage will now accommodate 4,172 total covered parking spaces year-round.

"We all know how wonderful it is to have close, covered parking during Michigan winters," said GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks. "We are excited to have this project complete before the busy Thanksgiving holiday, and we are happy to provide easy, convenient access for our growing passenger traffic."

The project was completed on schedule and on budget at a total of $17.3 million.


Ford airport adds 1,100 covered parking spaces


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Just in time for holiday travel, Gerald R. Ford International Airport opened its fourth level covered-parking deck to the public on Wednesday.

More than 1,100 additional parking spots were added just in time for the winter season. The project cost $17.3 million and took nearly seven months to complete.

Additionally, "Operation Handshake" welcomed returning military members and veterans back to West Michigan on Wednesday with volunteers from the Patriot Guard Riders.


Heightened security during busy holiday travel week


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is historically one of the busiest travels days of the year and with a new worldwide travel alert issued by the U.S. State Department earlier this week, passengers should expect longer lines and stricter security screening.

At the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, volunteers welcomed home West Michigan troops while airport personnel increased security. The Transportation Security Administration cannot reveal what additional security measures were taken, due to safety, but passengers should not be surprised if additional screening, random hand swabbing for explosive residue and K-9 teams are present.

Lawsuit filed over former Steelcase Pyramid


GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- An educational group is suing Steelcase over a failed plan to purchase the Pyramid building in Gaines Township. The Pyramid building was later bought by a developer with plans to house a data center for the Switch Company.

The Education Campus Investors, ECI, planned to buy the Pyramid from Steelcase and turn it into an educational facility focused on science and technology. According to a lawsuit filed in Kent County court on Wednesday, Nov. 18, the original purchase price was $7.5 million. But, after ECI found infrastructure problems with the Pyramid, the purchase price went down to $3 million.

The suit alleges Steelcase secretly negotiated to sell the property to Norman Properties, while it still had a purchase agreement with ECI.