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Republican strategist loses round in campaign lawsuit

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP)- A federal judge in Grand Rapids won't stop Michigan from enforcing limits on some campaign donations.

After hearing arguments, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff rejected a request Monday for an injunction in a lawsuit that claims the restrictions are unconstitutional.

Republican political strategist Greg McNeilly says the limits infringe on his free-speech rights. He's challenging the $500 cap for donations to state House candidates and $1,000 cap for state Senate candidates.

The Michigan attorney general's office is defending the state law, which has been around for more than 30 years.

Grand Rapids Diocese kicks off the new school year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- The school year is officially underway for Catholic schools in the Grand Rapids Diocese. 

Over 500 Catholic school employees and pastors gathered Monday for the annual Back to School Kickoff at Cathedral Square.  As part of the event, Bishop Walter Hurley presided over mass at Saint Andrew's Cathedral.  Leaders in the Grand Rapids Diocese say the celebration is another opportunity for school staff to celebrate their Catholic identity. 

There are more than 6,000 students in the 31 Catholic schools that make up the Grand Rapids Diocese.

April Juarez sentenced for driving car into downtown crowd

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WZZM) -- Two families sobbed inside a Grand Rapids Courtroom this afternoon as a judge sentenced 23 year old April Juarez to at least 20 years in prison.

Juarez plead no contest earlier this month to second degree murder as well as assault with intent to commit murder in connection with the of 19 year old Tifanee Crews.

Monday, in an emotion filled courtroom, a judge sentenced her to 20 to 50 years on the first count and 10 to 30 on the second.

"This is the result of reckless and unchecked angry actions of the defendant that she would undoubtedly like to be able to take back but can not," said 17th Circuit Court Judge James Redford.

Crews was one of dozens of people injured when Juarez drove her car into a crowd of people outside a downtown night club.

TRAFFIC ALERT: U.S. 131 re-opened following crash

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Traffic is moving once again on soutbound U.S. 131.

Police tell WZZM 13 News a truck hit the barrier wall causing a trailer to flip on the freeway. The left two lanes on U.S. 131 were closed for a while.  

No injuries are reported.

Military Appreciation event unfolds in Caledonia

CALEDONIA (WZZM) - A West Michigan Soldier who recently returned home from Iraq got a hero's welcome today, along with other veterans.

Cornerstone Church in Caledonia hosted a "Military Appreciation" event Sunday afternoon. Several hundred people attended looking for a chance to honor the sacrifices made by those in our armed forces.

The event was free to the public. People who currently serve or have served were in attendance. Others showed up just to show support.

The idea for the event was started by a military couple from Cornerstone Church.

"Initially it was going to be a small welcome home party for my husband who was returning from Iraq," says Bonnie Anderson, who's husband, David, returned August 17th from a one-year tour of duty in Iraq. "But the Lord kept putting it on my heart for me to also think about the other families."

South Christian @ Grand Rapids Christian

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Rivals South Christian and Grand Rapids Christian opened the 2010 season for the 12th straight year.

The Eagles scored the first touchdown of the game on a pass by Matt Grasmeyer to a wide open Jaylen Staten.

The Sailors tried to answer with a pass by Michael Wierenga to Brian Heidmann, who was stripped of the ball.  GR Christian recovered the fumble.

The Eagles capitalized on the turnover with an Andre Davis run to raise the lead to 17-0.

South Christian tried to stay in the game, but Grand Rapids Christian dominated with a 58-20 win.

Ottawa Hills wins big over Creston

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Ottawa Hills and Creston faced each other at their season opener at Grand Rapids' Houseman Field.

If you haven't heard the name, Devon Ivy, keep a watch on the Ottawa Hills standout. Ivy was a 13 On Your Sidelines MVP last year.  In Thursday night's game, he tore up the field, including a beautiful run to the end zone that was nullified by a holding call.

Ivy led the way as Ottawa Hills beat Creston, 41 to 6.