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Businessman sentenced for tax refund fraud


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Forging endorsements on $750,000 worth of federal tax refund checks means 48 months behind bars and three years of supervised release for a man who operated a Grand Rapids grocery store.

The U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles Jr. on Monday announced the sentence for Mateo Velasquez-Garcia. Velasquez-Garcia ran Tienda La Nueva Esperanza at 1814 S. Division Ave.

Federal investigators found that between 2011 and 2012, $2.9 million worth of fraudulently-obtained U.S. Treasury checks were deposited in the store's bank account. Investigators say Velasquez-Garcia admitted to them that he personally put false endorsements on 115 of those checks, which were payable to third parties.

Authorities also say Velasquez-Garcia has been removed from the U.S. before and has been found to be in the U.S. without the right authorization.


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GR Christian stuns Hudsonville


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids Christian scored a late touchdown and rallied past Hudsonville 35-34 Friday night.

Malik McLaughlin caught an 8-yard pass from Patrick Hall with less than 3 minutes remaining for the stunning victory.

Hudsonville led 28-14 at the half, but was outscored 21-6 in the second half.


Varnum selected as Top Diversity Focused company

Varnum selected as Top Diversity Focused company

The Varnum law firm was recently honored as the top Michigan-based Diversity Focused Company By Corp! Magazine, after initially ranking among 26 companies being recognized for their commitment to diversity. The award was announced Sept.10 at the 8th annual Michigan Salute to Diversity Awards, honoring businesses, organizations and business leaders who have displayed significant achievements in diversity within their organization or the community.

The award recognized Varnum's strong commitment to diversity and inclusion as evidenced by several unique programs and policies, including:

  • Varnum appointed a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion attorney (2013 Corp!

Varnum selected as Top Diversity Focused company

Varnum selected as Top Diversity Focused company

The Varnum law firm was recently honored as the top Michigan-based Diversity Focused Company By Corp! Magazine, after initially ranking among 26 companies being recognized for their commitment to diversity. The award was announced Sept.10 at the 8th annual Michigan Salute to Diversity Awards, honoring businesses, organizations and business leaders who have displayed significant achievements in diversity within their organization or the community.

The award recognized Varnum's strong commitment to diversity and inclusion as evidenced by several unique programs and policies, including:

  • Varnum appointed a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion attorney (2013 Corp!

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2014 AQ Run Thru: 5K Run & Two Mile Walk on September 27

2014 AQ Run Thru: 5K Run & Two Mile Walk on September 27

As part of the Aquinas College Homecoming, walkers & runners are invited to take part in this 2014 AQ Run Thru to benefit Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports.

This 6th Annual fun run course is a scenic route through Aquinas College, highlighting many new additions to the campus & the natural trails.

Aquinas College is located at 1607 Robinson Road SE in GR. Registration takes place at Lower St. Joe’s Parking Lot on Saturday, September 27 from 8:00-8:45am and the run starts at 9:00am.

Visit www.aquinas.edu/health/aqrun.html for more information & to download the Registration Form.

Rockford Construction opens model apartment as leasing office at the historic Morton

Rockford Construction opens model apartment as leasing office at the historic Morton

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 23, 2014 – Beginning Wednesday, September 24, Rockford Construction will open an apartment leasing office at the 91-year-old historic Morton Hotel located at 70 Monroe Center. The leasing office, located on the ground floor of the The Morton, features a full-size living area and kitchen, similar to those being constructed in the building’s upper floors, and is located within a newly constructed glass storefront making the site highly visible from Monroe Center. Individuals wishing to lease apartments or commercial space in The Morton will be able to begin securing reservations.

Once opened, the Morton will feature at least 100 market-rate apartments, ground floor retail and restaurant space, and opportunities for a variety of users.

28th Street reopens following rollover crash


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- 28th Street has reopened following a three-vehicle crash Tuesday morning.

Grand Rapids police say around 8 a.m. three vehicles collided and one rolled over. One person was pinned inside and suffered serious injuries. The two other drivers were not seriously hurt.

The road was closed from Eastern to Kalamazoo Avenue for about two hours, it reopened just after 10 a.m.