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My Town: Volunteers needed for Grand River cleanup on Sept. 21

My Town: Volunteers needed for Grand River cleanup on Sept. 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The annual Mayor’s Grand River Cleanup takes place Sept. 21.

Volunteers are encouraged to make a difference in their community by taking part in this clean-up effort focusing on sites in Grand Rapids, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Walker and Wyoming.

Registration takes place on Sept. 21 at Sixth Street Park located at 647 Monroe Ave. on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Newberry in downtown Grand Rapids. Arrivals after 9:15 a.m. may not be guaranteed a place on the bus. Buses leave at 9:35 a.m. sharp from the Sixth Street Park.

Call Becky Brown at (616) 451-3051, e-mail her at bbrown@wmeac.org or visit www.grandrivercleanup.com for more information.

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Local sex trafficker sentenced to 30 years in prison

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - A Grand Rapids man with 14 prior convictions is now the first person in West Michigan sentenced to federal prison for sex trafficking.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell on Tuesday sentenced Eddie Allen Jackson to 30 years in prison for recruiting teenage girls from Muskegon to work as prostitutes. Jackson, 31, recruited vulnerable girls and had them service clients at Grand Rapids area hotels.

He started the criminal enterprise in 2012 after being released from prison. Jackson served less than seven years on four felony convictions in Kent County, including assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles applauded the 30-year sentence, which will be followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Grand Rapids leads state in children with lead poisoning

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A group dedicated to preventing lead poisoning in children is making special funding available to homeowners to help remove lead-based paint from their properties.

Get the Lead Out! was founded 10 years ago as a partnership between the city of Grand Rapids, the Kent County Health Department, the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan and the Rental Property Owners Association. Since 2004, the group has made more than 1,350 homes in Grand Rapids lead-safe.

According to the group, the 49507 zip code in Grand Rapids had the highest number of children poisoned with lead in all of Michigan in 2013. Lead poisoning can cause permanent brain damage, and poor physical growth and development. It can also lead to learning disabilities and behavioral problems.

Cauliflower-One of Fall's great Vegetables Prepared Simple

Cauliflower-One of Fall's great Vegetables Prepared Simple

I bought a large head of cauliflower recently and just yesterday decided to prepare it. I decided to do it the simple way, steaming. Here is what I did to fix it and enjoy some real good eating.

Steamed Cauliflower

1 large head of Cauliflower

Salt & Pepper

Cheese-your choice (shredded or sliced)

You'll need a double boiler with holes in the top pan or use a collander over a pan of hot water. Just put about an inch and a half of water in the lower pan and bring to a boil. Turn the burner down so the water just continues to boil slowly.

Turn the head of cauliflower upside down and cut out part of the stem, removing the leaves. You don't have to cut deep, just far enough so all the leaves fall away. Wash the cauliflower and sprinkle the top with salt & pepper.

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United Way kicks off campaign with Day of Caring

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - United Way kicked off its annual campaign Friday with a "Day of Caring."

The kickoff began at noon at Heartside Park in Grand Rapids. The Heart of West Michigan United Way campaign runs through March.

Watch the video above for more details.

Traffic snarled on 131; multi-vehicle crash reported

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Fire Department and Michigan State Police have responded to a multi-vehicle accident on the freeway.

Scanner traffic indicates crews were dispatched to southbound US-131 at Hall where multiple vehicles crashed around 10:30 Thursday night.

Emergency crews initially blocked the left two lanes while they worked and left the right open. They've since moved to open the left lanes and block the right.

Information about whether anyone was injured wasn't immediately available.

WZZM 13 has a crew headed to the scene for more information.

GRBJ: Centerpointe Mall sold for $68M

GRAND RAPIDS (GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL) - Centerpointe Mall has at last been sold.

According to city records, the 525,000-square-foot shopping center, located at 3665 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, was sold on June 26 for $68 million.

Lormax Stern Development Co., the Bloomfield Hills-based firm that purchased Centerpointe in 2000, put the mall up for sale in December 2013. According to city records, a New York-based CenterPoint Owner LLC now owns the mall.