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My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The 2014-2015 school year is officially underway for West Michigan students.

On Sept. 2, which was the official start of classes for most schools, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released this statement: 

"It’s a great day to be Back to School in Michigan !

Let me take a moment to wish everyone a positive and successful school year.

Our team here at the Michigan Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and I appreciate the hard work and daily dedication teachers, administrators, school board members, and other school staff devote to our children in Michigan.

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New uniform requirement begins at GRPS middle schools


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Summer vacation ends for many West Michigan students Tuesday, and for some children in Grand Rapids, this new school year brings a new requirement.

PHOTO GALLERY: Back to School 2014

Starting September 2, middle school students in Grand Rapids Public Schools must wear school uniforms. The district implemented the plan saying uniforms help increase focus on learning and reduce behavior problems. Officials say it seems to be working.

"We really removed that behavioral issue or bullying issues as it's related to what students are wearing," said GRPS spokesman John Helmholdt. "We saw a significant reduction in that, at least anecdotally, from feedback we got from teachers and support staff in the school."

GRPD identifies suspect and victim in deadly stabbing


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids Police are identifying the suspect and the victim in a deadly attack on the city's southeast side.

Officers were called to Millbrook Apartments on Pastiche Drive, just off Eastern Avenue SE around 12:45 a.m. Friday. Inside one of the units, they found James Arthur Washington, 33, with multiple stab wounds. Washington died at the scene.

Officers arrested Janaya Aflower Johnson, Washington's 36-year-old girlfriend, around 6:10 a.m. Friday at the apartment complex. Police say she had left the crime scene prior to their arrival, but officers located her in the area and took her into custody without incident. She's being charged with a count of open murder, with arraignment scheduled for Tuesday. She's being held without bond in the Kent County jail.

GRPD investigating shooting


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A man's recovering after being shot Wednesday evening.

Grand Rapids police say they man showed up at the BP station on the 800 block of Franklin around 9:35 p.m. He had non-life-threatening injuries to his legs or buttocks, but police weren't sure if the man had been shot more than once.

The man said he had been walking on the 700 block of Prince when he was shot. He said he didn't know who shot him and couldn't provide any description.

No one was in custody as of 11 p.m. Wednesday night.


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Moped driver injured after crashing with semi


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police say a moped driver was hospitalized after a crash with a semi.

It happened around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon on Wealthy near Indiana.

An officer on the scene told WZZM 13 the man's injuries are not life-threatening.


My Town: Pizza to help pets Aug. 27

My Town: Pizza to help pets Aug. 27

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary invite the community to help rescued cats Wednesday, Aug. 27 by picking up a pizza.

Print a flyer from Crash's Landing's website and present it to employees at any of the 14 participating Pizza Hut locations Wednesday to donate 20 percent of your total bill to Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary.  The benefit runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 27 and includes dine-in, carry out or delivery orders.

The flyer has the list and addresses of the 14 participating Pizza Hut locations in the Grand Rapids area.

Jumping ship: Why some local leaders are leaving the corporate world for the social sector

Jumping ship: Why some local leaders are leaving the corporate world for the social sector

By Melinda Clynes
This story originally appeared in Rapid Growth

Thriving cities benefit from a mix of for-profit and nonprofit leadership, and Rapid Growth is taking a look at some West Michigan leaders who have left the corporate world for work in the social sector.