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Store bankruptcy catches customers by surprise

Store bankruptcy catches customers by surprise

KENTWOOD, MI (WZZM) - The bankruptcy of a Kentwood furniture store could cost dozens of customers hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.

The owners of Fielding's Showcase Furniture on S. Division Avenue in Kentwood filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protections Wednesday.

Dozens of customers paying for items on layaway now wonder where that leaves them.

"In today's economy, you don't want to just throw away money," says layaway customer Udo Littles.

"I paid them $220, and I've met people who paid $1,000, $600, $400," says layaway customer Zenaida Figueroa.

Documents filed in bankruptcy court by business owners Fielding Ronald Howard and Marjorie Lee Howard show no assets available to pay creditors.

They list nearly $1 million in debts and just $50,000 in assets.

Customers say the business closed it's doors without warning.

Grand Rapids Bicycle Company and Trailhead Cafe

Grand Rapids Bicycle Company and Trailhead Cafe

by Ryan McCarthy

Tom Smith, Sr. is not a bicycle man by nature, but by trade. His Grand Rapids Bicycle Company now also includes Trailhead Café, putting him in the food business as well. These are somewhat uncharted waters for Tom, but the bike company in the Knapp’s Corner compound was for sale and he was looking for a change. After scouting a possible new location at 1200 East Paris, he found it contained a bit of restaurant equipment that could also be included in the sale. The age-old Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus is conveniently located next door, ensuring him a built-in audience of outdoorsy types. He did the math and decided to purchase the space and bicycle company in January of 2012.

DLH to GRR

DLH to GRR

J. Bennett Rylah

Brian Ryks has been interested in aviation since he was in college, living in the Twin Cities area. His neighbor was a captain for Republic Airlines, and one day, he asked Ryks if he wanted to go flying.

"He picked me up and we drove south of town to an area between a couple of cornfields at the end of this big gravel path," Ryks recalls. "There was a grass runway between two cornfields. His friend was pulling out a Stearman -- an old, vintage, bi-wing aircraft with a big radial engine. A big yellow plane, the kind they use for barn storming. He started it up and told me to jump in. I put on the old leather goggles and we took off and flew around. When I was up in the air, looking around, I said, 'I need to get involved in aviation somehow.'"

She's Got Face

She's Got Face

Chelsea Slocum

Latesha Lipscomb is a force to be reckoned with. In 2001, she founded I GOT FACE, a cosmetic concierge service, as a way to subsidize her education. Eleven years later, she travels to Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Beijing, acting as an “agency for the artist” and providing all behind-the-scenes services necessary to make the event shine.

Kent County Single Family Housing Starts are the Highest in 5 Years

Kent County Single Family Housing Starts are the Highest in 5 Years

The quarterly report for housing starts in Kent County show very good news in the housing industry. In the second quarter of 2012, 221 new home starts were recorded. This is the most new homes built in a single quarter since 2007 when the economy slowed. Housing starts are the leading indicator for economic growth and recovery.

Please visit http://www.hbaggr.com/ for additional information.

A fireworks store opens on 28th Street

A fireworks store opens on 28th Street

The Cascade – Kentwood area has a new fireworks store. Jake’s Fireworks opened up right before Memorial Day in the former Circuit City store at the corner of 28th Street SE and Patterson Avenue. The store sells everything from sparklers to bottle rockets.

All federally legal consumer grade fireworks are now legal to use in Michigan. The new law allows Michiganders to use loud fireworks and ones that shoot into the air, such as bottle rockets and roman candles. The state has approved several hundred certificates to businesses that want to sell the more powerful fireworks.

Until January 1, 2012, only low impact fireworks, such as sparklers, snakes, and poppers were legal in the state. This meant Michigan residents had to go to neighboring states, such as Indiana and Ohio to buy their bottle rockets. Michigan lawmakers changed the law, so the state could start collecting those tax dollars.

Many communities have noise ordinances.

A.K. Rikk's: More than Retail

A.K. Rikk's: More than Retail

Adam Bird

A.K. Rikk's is creating an altar to fashion. Announced last week, a building is being rejuvenated to be filled with all manner finery and luxurious goods, well before Christmas shopping starts. There will be a 17-foot tall vertical TV screen that football will never play on. There is a bar. A room is dedicated to bespoke suits overlooking a suspended exhibition floor, above the actual floor below. There is a shoe room for women’s shoes. Only women’s shoes. This is a space designed exclusively for fashion and style, all 28,000 square feet of it.