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My Town: 10 ways to protect yourself while shopping

My Town: 10 ways to protect yourself while shopping

KENTWOOD, Mich.—As the busiest shopping day of the year approaches, police are offering 10 ways to protect yourself and your vehicle from thieves.


Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (H.E.A.T.) works with Michigan law enforcement agencies to track down suspected car thieves and those suspected of auto theft-related insurance fraud.    Shoppers are encouraged to follow these tips:

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Mel Trotter boxes to feed hundreds of families

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—For the 12th year in a row, Mel Trotter Ministries is helping feed more than 700 West Michigan families with their food box giveaway.

Each box contains a turkey and all of the fixings to make a Christmas meal. People with Mel Trotter are handing out 50 food boxes at each of the organization's four retail thrift stores, and 350 food boxes from the food pantry at Mel Trotter's

downtown shelter.

Families receiving the boxes had to pre-register for a voucher through Access of West Michigan.

"Anyone who comes here today is never in a bad mood. It's just the beginning of the Christmas season so people come, they receive their food box and it's all about spreading Christmas cheer, receiving that food and being able to make that meal at home," says Cindy Smies with Mel Trotter.

The giveaway continues until 2 p.m. Thursday.

Two women hurt after car hits restaurant's wall

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two women are recovering from minor injuries after an accident on the city's southeast side early Thursday morning.

It happened just before 12:30 on Breton Road near the corner of Burton Street. Police say the car hit the wall of Houlihan's restaurant, just south of the Breton Village Shopping Center. The building did not suffer significant damage.

The women inside the car suffered mostly facial injuries from the airbag going off. They are expected to be okay.

No other cars were involved in the crash but police are not yet sure what caused the driver to hit the building. They are not ruling out alcohol as a possible cause.

My Town: Looking for a job? Head to Grand Rapids, survey says

My Town: Looking for a job?  Head to Grand Rapids, survey says

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Grand Rapids is where the jobs will be in 2015, according to survey results published by Forbes.

Every quarter, Manpower surveys employers in each market to determine who will be hiring and who will be firing. The biggest jump in employment is expected to happen in the Cape Coral, Florida area, where 32 percent of surveyed companies said they planned to hire new staff in the first quarter of 2015.  McAllen, Texas ranked second for jobs, with an estimated 29 percent of companies hiring; Grand Rapids tied with Deltona, Florida for third place, with approximately 26 percent of businesses planning to add positions. For the complete rankings, visit Forbes’ website.

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My Town: West Michigan home to three of most dangerous Mich. places

My Town: West Michigan home to three of most dangerous Mich. places

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich.—West Michigan is home to three of the 10 most dangerous places in the state, according to Movoto Real Estate.

The company based its rankings on cities with populations of 10,000 or more that also ranked high in murder, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes, based on the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report.  Flint topped the list, followed by Benton Harbor, Detroit, Highland Park, Muskegon Heights, Harper Woods, Inkster, Flint Township, Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo. Grand Rapids came in at No. 16, Holland ranked 26th,  Walker took 32nd place, Grandville ranked 41st, Norton Shores landed at No. 42, Kalamazoo Township was 45th and Grand Haven came in at No. 50 among the 102 qualified communities.  To see the entire list, visit Movoto’s website here.

Kent ISD superintendent announces retirement

Kent ISD superintendent announces retirement

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—After more than three decades helping to educate hundreds of thousands of children, the superintendent of Kent Intermediate School District is leaving his post.

Tuesday, Kevin Konarska announced his plans to retire at the end of the school year. Konarska has worked for Kent ISD for nine years, helping the agency navigate through the Great Recession and deep funding cuts by the state, all while opening new education programs and a laboratory school.

"It will be very hard to see Kevin leave," Board President Claudia Bajema said in a news release to WZZM 13. "He has made such a difference in the schools we serve and in the opportunities available to the more than 100,000 students throughout our service region."

My Town GR South: Date set for ice rink build at Wilcox Park

My Town GR South: Date set for ice rink build at Wilcox Park

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The date is set to rebuild a wintertime attraction at Wilcox Park.

A team of volunteers will create the outdoor ice rink Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. Help is still needed to maintain the ice rink through winter.  Volunteers will be responsible for clearing snow off the ice.   

Sponsors are also needed to help make this attraction a reality.  The Eastown Community Association still needs to purchase a new liner for the rink. 

Those interested in helping with the upkeep should contact Lindsey at lindsey@eastown.org.

RELATED STORY: Ice rinks popping up around Grand Rapids