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Father defends son accused of arsons

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The father of the man suspected in ten recent arson fires in Grand Rapids, is defending his son.

23-year-old Joseph McIntyre was arraigned this week on four of those arsons and he apologized for committing them

Friday McIntyre's father, who identified himself as "Lonnie M." called WZZM 13. He's fearful his son won't get the psychiatric care he needs.

"I just hope he doesn't get some prosecutor that wants to jam 'em, put 'em in prison and lock him up and forget about him," Lonnie said. "You know that's not the right thing to do for him. He's definitely not a criminal..."Obviously he's out starting garages on fire. In his mind he's not hurting nothing. If he was really trying to hurt somebody, he'd be going for the houses."

"Lonnie" says a doctor diagnosed his son as bi-polar when he was a child, but he says doctors discontinued McIntyre's medication when he "grew out" of the disease.

Woodland Mall launches new gift card program


Shoppers can now purchase the ideal gift card with versatility and convenience, as mall owner Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) introduces a new branded gift card today. The festively designed PREIT Mall American Express® Gift Card can now be used at Woodland Mall as well as virtually all retailers across the United States that accept American Express. And, with no after purchase fees, PREIT Mall American Express® Gift Cards will never lose their value until spent by the consumer.
“We are excited to offer a new gift card product that is in high demand. Our gift cards are redeemable in nearly all Woodland Mall retailers as well as thousands of retailers and restaurants nation-wide that accept American Express, which offers greater flexibility for the recipient,” said Terry Leshuk, marketing director for Woodland Mall.

Grand Rapids arsonist faces more charges

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The man accused of setting fire to garages in Kentwood and SE Grand Rapids now faces more charges.

The Kent County Prosecutor's Office is charging Joseph Michael McIntyre with three more arsons. The latest charges are for fires set on August 18th on 3010 Mulford Dr. SE; one at 2725 Mulford, SE on July 22nd, and one on Oakwood Ave. NE. on September 21st.

Grand Rapids Police Capt. Jeff Hertel said McIntyre will also face federal charges, but those have not been filed yet.

McIntyre was arraigned on the latest state charges Tuesday and bond was set at $400,000. That's in addition to the $1 million dollars bond set Monday for his arrest Sunday in Kentwood.

McIntyre was arrested over the weekend after investigators caught him setting a garage on fire in Kentwood. He reportedly admitted to detectives that he set as many as nine fires.

Kentwood citizens can report crimes online

KENTWOOD (WZZM) -- People living in Kentwood are now able to report crimes by using the internet.

The new system allows people to report certain offenses without waiting for an officer to respond. The offenses include theft, harassment, identity theft, vandalism and private property vehicle crashes.

Police supervisors review the reports in the same manner as other officer-reported cases.

For more information on Kentwood's online crime reporting system, Click Here.

South Kent Business Connections

From: Grandville/Jenison Chamber of Commerce

Our friends at the Wyoming Kentwood Chamber have invited us to attend and participate in their South Kent Business Connections. Member rates do apply to Grandville Jenison Chamber Members for Sponsorships and Events.
Business Connect Flyer 1    Business Connect Flyer 2

Thursday, October 28, 2010
1:00 p.m.

Kentwood man pleads no contest to felonious driving charges

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM)- A Kentwood man who police say became enraged on the road and caused a five vehicle crash will be sentenced next month.  Kurtis Heemstra, 43, is pleading no contest to felonious driving charges.

County prosecutors say the Kentwood man was speeding and tailgating on M-6 at Burlingame Avenue in April, causing another driver to veer across the road and hit an oncoming semi.  Prosecutors say the other driver, Oswell Matyorauta, was also speeding and tailgating. He is charged with misdemeanor reckless driving.

Kentwood arson victim: Suspect 'would not be sorry if he hadn't been caught'

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Kent County man Monday told a judge he's sorry for his actions after he was charged with setting a Kentwood family's garage on fire.

But the last victim of the suspected serial arsonist says she does not believe his apology.

Joseph McIntyre, 23, is being held on a $1 million bond following his arrest Sunday morning for a fire on 32nd St. SE.  Police say McIntyre has admitted to setting nine more fires in the Grand Rapids and Kentwood area since July.

"I apologize, I'm sorry," said McIntyre in court Monday.

"I think he's sorry because he had handcuffs on," said Melissa Wozniak, whose garage was the final arson scene Sunday morning. "I think he's sorry because he's on the way to jail. He would not be sorry if he hadn't been caught. He would be on the way to set another garage on fire, to traumatize another family. He is not sorry."