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Grand Rapids celebrates National Chemistry Week

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's National Chemistry Week and Saturday is the perfect day to peak your little scientist's interest by bringing them to experience interactive chemistry demonstrations at Woodland Mall. It's happening from noon until 4:00 p.m. Saturday near the Macy's entrance.

Jim Krikke from Grand Valley State University brought in his beakers to do an experiment during the Weekend Morning News aligning with the theme of

"Chemistry Colors Our World."

The event will include demonstration booths sponsored by the Local American Chemical Society and chemistry clubs from Grand Valley, Hope College, Aquinas College and Grand Rapids Community College.

Kentwood FD: Carelessness contributed to fatal apt. fire

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Kentwood Fire Department says its investigation has determined a double-fatal fire was caused by the careless use of smoking materials.

Two people died in an early-morning fire last Friday in a first-floor apartment in the Wingate Apartments near 32nd Street and Shaffer Ave.

Firefighters said they arrived to find a "relatively small fire" in the first floor unit. They were able to put it out quickly and keep it contained to the one apartment.

The victims have been identified as 51-year-old Mary Hopkins and 61-year-old Edward Newhouse. They shared the apartment. Neighbors say Hopkins used a wheelchair.

Friday afternoon, they were concerned about smoke detectors at the complex.  Hattie Lee said, "They never went off. The smoke alarms never went off."

Police shoot and kill armed man in Kentwood

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened late Wednesday night.

Police were called to the Sutton Club Apartments near the corner of 60th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue just before 11:15 p.m.

The call came from a family friend saying a 47-year-old man was suicidal. 

"So, we sent two officers out to check on the well-being of this individual," said Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen.

When officers got there, they knocked on the door.  No one answered, Chief Hillen said, "and the officer went outside to see if they could see any activity in the apartment through the window. He radioed to the officer that was inside."

Medicare loss in Kentwood pill scam tops $64M

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A pill restocking fraud run by Kentwood Pharmacy cost Medicare more than $64 million; the biggest financial loser in a scam that resulted in more than a dozen arrests.

The second biggest loser was Medicaid; it took an $18.2 million hit in the restocking scam that ran between 2006 and 2010 and resulted in the closing of Kentwood Pharmacy locations in metro Grand Rapids.

Medicare is a federal health care insurance program for people aged 65 and over while Medicaid provides health care coverage for needy, aged and disabled people.

All told, $88.2 million in losses were suffered by the government and three other health care providers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which pegged its financial loss at more than $4.7 million.

The final tally was disclosed in a restitution order approved this week by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker.

Subway restaurant robbed at gunpoint

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police are looking for the man who robbed a Subway restaurant Friday night.
Police say it happened just after 8:40 p.m. at the Subway on 44th Street SE, west of Breton Road.
Police say the man pulled out a gun during the robbery, took property and escaped on foot.
No customers were in the restaurant at the time of the robbery.
None of the employees were hurt.
Police are looking for a black male who was wearing a blue coat at the time of the robbery.
Anyone with information can call Grand Rapids Police at 616-456-3395, Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or visit, silentobserver.org.

GR's Ford airport reopening reconstructed runway

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Gerald R. Ford International Airport is reopening one of its runways after a roughly $4 million construction project.

The West Michigan Aviation Academy's flight school is scheduled to make the first flight Friday on the east-west runway just north of the airport's terminal.

The runway is designed for smaller general aviation and flight training. The project replaced the concrete runway surface, which had degraded.

Airport Executive Director Brian Ryks says in a statement the project "represents our commitment to the general aviation and flight training community at our airport."

Reconstruction work began in June. The total project cost is just over $4 million, with 90 percent covered by the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program. The airport and the Michigan Department of Transportation contributed 5 percent each.

Pedestrian in critical condition after being hit by car

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A man is recovering after being hit by a car while trying to cross the street in Kentwood.

Police tell WZZM 13 it happened around 3 a.m. Friday on East Beltline at 28th Street.

Nathan Levendowski, 39 of Cedar Springs, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. He was listed in critical condition Friday afternoon.

The driver, Shandell Riley, 40 of Grand Rapids, was not hurt.

The incident remains under investigation.