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My Town: Kent County Health Department offers free testing for World AIDS Day

My Town: Kent County Health Department offers free testing for World AIDS Day

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV and nearly one in seven doesn’t know they are infected.

On Dec. 1, health officials across the nation will work to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS during World AID’s Day.  Here in West Michigan, the Kent County Health Department will be offering free HIV testing at three locations.  Each test will consist of a single finger poke, with preliminary results available in about 20 minutes.  Each person who gets tested will receive a gift card, while supplies last.  No appointment is necessary.

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Confusion over power lines sparks concerns

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A Grand Rapids woman is seeking answers to why it took nearly eight hours -- and a call to 13 On Your Side -- to have crews work to cut off a sparking power line outside her home.

It started around 5:30 p.m. Monday, when strong winds brought down a tree branch onto a power line outside Darlene Eaves home on Jefferson Avenue near Hall Street SE.

Eaves called Consumers Energy before and after the line started sparking. Because the line was producing sparks, the utility company told her to call 911.

Firefighters arrived, but told Eaves they could not do anything until the utility shut off power, telling her it was not a higher level emergency.

Eaves says it wasn't until 10:30 p.m. when a Consumers crew arrived, but workers said they could not cut off the line.

Thanksgiving comes early at Ellnora's Kitchen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Thanksgiving came early in Grand Rapids.

For the fourth year, Ellnora's Kitchen on Monday night offered a free Thanksgiving Dinner with all of the traditional fixings. The restaurant's owner, Elijah Libbett, says it's his way of giving back to the community.

"My mother, she cooked a lot and she would cook for anybody," Libbett said. "She's the one who taught me how to cook, so in honor of her we give back."

Libbett also gives out free meals around Christmas.

He says that last year between the two holidays he gave away more than 2,200 to the community.

My Town GR South: Downtown Market tenant named 'Start-Up to Watch'

My Town GR South: Downtown Market tenant named 'Start-Up to Watch'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Downtown Market is home to the “Start-Up to Watch.”

Love’s Ice Cream earned that title during the Making It Michigan Conference in Lansing Nov. 12..  Three other Michigan businesses also earned awards—Ellis Infinity earned Entrepreneur of the Year for Ellis Island Tropical Tea, Pronko Enterprises was awarded Best Barrier Buster for its Maria’s House Made Salsa and Findlay’s Organics was honored with the Value-Added Agriculture award.

This was the seventh year for the Making it in Michigan Conference.

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Grand Rapids Union HS students help ailing stranger get home

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Three Union High School juniors had an eventful Thursday night. They ride the Rapid bus, usually getting home about 9 p.m. after basketball practice. Thursday night, they didn't get home until 11.

On the transfer bus at Grand Central Station, they noticed a young woman passenger who didn't look right.

"She was breathing kind of funny, she was moving a little funny," said one of the boys, Kedron Davis.

It appears she may have been having a diabetic attack. A chocolate bar student Sergio Diaz gave her helped a bit, but she was still struggling.

"When our stop came up, something just didn't feel right," Diaz said, "so I asked her if she needed help getting home. She shook her head 'yeah.'"

My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The snow piling up outside has kept Kent County Road Commission crews busy this past week, and with a warm up expected this weekend, their work is far from over.

During the week, 90 drivers worked each day and 30 drivers worked each night, clearing the snow from state highways, county roads and local streets and drives.  The Kent County Road Commission says all roads were cleared at least once between Tuesday and Thursday, but additional snowfall and drifting snow may give some roads the appearance of being neglected.  In Comstock Park and Grandville alone, Kent County crews spread 10,700 tons of salt and sand.  In Byron Center, crews used 58,000 gallons of liquid chloride to clear the road.  In all, the Road Commission estimates this first brush with winter cost it more than $1 million.

My Recipe of the Month

My Recipe of the Month

I don't know about the rest of the world but I love apple butter on my toast or on a fresh slice of homemade bread.

For the first time, I have found a recipe to make this delicious spread in a Crock-Pot! It turned out so good and with very little fuss on my part. It is just a matter of assembling the ingredients, letting the Crock-Pot do its thing and then enjoying the results.

My mom made this when I was a kid and I have carried the tradition on with my kids. It's always a treat. Maybe it will be for you too.


Makes about 6 cups

  • 5 ½ pounds of apples, peeled and cut up (I use a variety)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


Put all the apples in a Crock-Pot and top with the remaining ingredients and stir to coat the apples.