Our network

News

Family and friends gather to celebrate David Warsen


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The David Warsen Legacy Team hosted their third annual 5k run and walk Saturday morning to honor the fallen Navy SEAL. Warsen was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan three years ago.

After the run, family and friends gathered at Peppino's in Kentwood for the Celebrate David Party.

Those in attendance were able to listen to music from Dennie Middleton and the Bimini Brothers while sharing stories and remembering the fallen hero.

Warsen's family says the event was not so much about competition, more about having fun, like David always did.

The money raised from Saturday's event will go to pay for care packages to be mailed to Navy SEALs and other forces deployed overseas.


Many Construction Improvements in the Ada/Cascade Area

Many Construction Improvements in the Ada/Cascade Area

There is a lot happening in the Ada/Cascade area with construction that started on July 27th and will run through October 31st.

In Cascade, near the original Town Hall, changes will be made to the Museum Gardens, redesigning it to encourage more interaction. There will be new trees planted along with new plants, a sculpture pad, musical interaction pieces, soft lighting and new seating.

Old 28th Street will be realigned to reduce speeds when approaching and entering Cascade Rd from the east. This intersection will continue to be a right turn only but closer to a 90 degree angle. New sidewalk will be included in this project also.

No more honking for drive-in church members


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- For more than four decades, parishioners of Woodland Drive-In Church have beeped their car horns as an expression of their faith during their Sunday morning service.

But following a noise complaint made to the city, churchgoers are no longer permitted to, "Honk for Jesus."

The Sunday service is broadcasted over radio and church members say they beep their car horns as a show of support and affirmation of faith in small increments. They said in total, maybe 15 seconds of an hour long service is scattered with short beeps.

"That's how people applaud from their car," said Marianne Wilkins, a regular attendee.

According to a church leader, when the drive-in community moved in the mid-1980's to its present location off Breton Road, an agreement was made with the city that parishioners would restrain from honking their horns as a symbol of their faith.

Child sex assault victim speaks out about crime


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Three years ago, Jason Michael Spencer sexually assaulted an 8-year-old boy. On Thursday, July 16, Spencer pleaded guilty in Kent County Circuit Court to first and second degree criminal sexual conduct.

Now, the mother of the victim and the now 11-year-old boy speak out to help make sure this never happens again. The family asked us to hide their identity.

At her mobile home in Cutlerville, "My son was in his room sleeping at the residence," explains the victim's mother. "I was at work ."

Earlier, the victim's mother had a bad feeling about Jason Michael Spencer, a cousin to her then boyfriend. "I told my ex-boyfriend do not have him around my son," explains the mother.

Police: Man shot in head by girlfriend's ex


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A man is in serious condition after he was shot by his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend, police say.

The shooting happened around 4:30 a.m. Saturday near the 4200 block of Forest Creek Court in Kentwood.

Police say five to 10 shots were fired and the man was struck in the head and leg.

Officers say the shooter and the girlfriend were at the scene when they arrived.

The incident remains under investigation.


A year after tornado, Kentwood, Wyoming leaders look back


KENTWOOD and WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- One year ago Monday, a twister damaged dozens of homes and businesses in Kentwood and Wyoming.

WZZM 13 is taking a closer look at the progress that's been made cleaning up and rebuilding those communities.

Deep-rooted wounds take time to heal. In Kentwood, that means 12 months of stitching a community back together. The recovery from last summer's tornado was largely driven by a grassroots effort.

"Seconds after the tornado came by, neighbors were out with flashlights, literally climbing on trees and brushes, knocking on people's doors," said Kentwood's Mayor Stephen Kepley.

Now, one year after the devastating tornado, Kepley says a handful of the more than 80 damaged homes in his city still need to be repaired. The reason for the delays, he says, is the insurance companies.

Mark DeJong will lead Vanguard Charter Academy for 2015-2016

Mark DeJong will lead Vanguard Charter Academy for 2015-2016

Mark DeJong, who holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from St. Cloud State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Bethel University, will serve as the new principal of Vanguard Charter Academy for the 2015-2016 school year. Mark replaces Daryl Vriesenga who retired at the end of this past school year.

Mark is a familiar face around school, having served as assistant principal and academic dean since 2011. He has spent the past 15 years in education in the classroom and leadership. Before moving to Michigan he served as the superintendent and principal of an elementary school in Minnesota along with leading an elementary school in the Dominican Republic as their principal.