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EPA to clean up poisons in closed Grand Rapids factory


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A team from the Environmental Protection Agency is coming to Grand Rapids to remove thousands of gallons of acids, solvents and other chemicals from a closed factory.

Drums and open vats full of toxic, poisonous chemicals were left behind when the city seized Hard Chrome Plating Co. on Blaine Avenue for not paying taxes.

The Kent County Land Bank bought the building with plans to sell it to another business.

But first the EPA must remove the poisons.

"According to the reports we got there are about 25 highly toxic corrosive chemicals in this building right now," says Land Bank executive director Dave Allen. "In its current state, if left undisturbed, none of this is dangerous right now. If it is disturbed, then it becomes dangerous."

Allen says EPA estimates it will take months to remove the chemicals and clean up the site.

Protestors picket Grand Rapids grocery


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - Protesters in front of Fannie's Corner Market on Eastern Avenue in Grand Rapids say they will continue their demonstration until one of two things happen: Fannies closes and goes out of business, or the store owner and staff start treating customers with respect.

Customers say they have always had to endure high prices and poor service at the store, but when a woman was hit by an employee while trying to return some pizza last month, they say that was the last straw.

"For years this has been going on here," said protester Ladonna Norman. "They have gotten accustomed to mistreating us and we have gotten accustomed to accepting it and we are not going to tolerate it anymore."

Girl, 7, hit by car in Grand Rapids crosswalk


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A 7-year-old girl is recovering from injuries after being hit by a car near a Grand Rapids elementary school.

A group of kids were walking in the crosswalk near Burton Elementary School in the 2100 block of Buchanan Avenue SW when the girl made an attempt to catch up to her brother, police said in a news release.

Thereafter, a southbound vehicle went through the crosswalk. The girl was struck in the head by the driver's side mirror, which knocked her to the ground.

The girl was alert at the scene and was taken to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Police cited the driver.


Grand Rapids woman, 82, honored as 50-year crossing guard


Grand Rapids, Mich. (WZZM) - She has been a school crossing guard in Grand Rapids for 50 years, 44 of them at the corner of Buchanan And Griggs Streets in front of Buchanan Elementary. 

And at age 82, Lilly Rinvelt says she has no plans to retire.

“It keeps me young,” she explains with a laugh. “It’s just so great I can do this for the kids. I enjoy working with the kids.”

“Miss Lilly”, as the kids call her, began working as a crossing guard in 1965. 

“I just didn’t like sitting at home,” she recalls.  “I was looking in the paper and saw school crossing guard.  I thought that seems like a good job.”

Monday there was a ceremony to honor and thank Lilly for her years of service.

5 shot in multiple locations across Grand Rapids


Update: This story has been updated as of 9:30 a.m. with the latest information from the Grand Rapids Police Department.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids police are investigating three separate shootings Saturday night, which left five people hurt -- one in serious condition.

An area hospital contacted police just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday to alert that they were treating a 19-year-old male with a gunshot wound, according to a news release. It is believed that shooting was self-inflicted.

His condition is described as non-life-threatening.

Police responded around 2:25 a.m. to the 1400 block of Grandville Avenue SW on reports of another overnight shooting. By the time they arrived to a residence, a 25-year-old victim had already been taken to an area hospital. His injuries are described as serious but stable.

GRPD: Good Samaritan brings missing woman to hospital


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Police Department says a good Samaritan spotted a missing woman Friday evening and brought her safely to a hospital.

Carole Jean Blum, 74, had last been seen around 6:20 p.m. Friday in the 3900 block of Whispering Way Dr. SE, near Burton St. and East Paris Ave. Police said she might have been heading to the 900 block of Lake Dr., near Eastern Ave., where she used to live.

Shortly after 9 p.m., police announced she had been safely found.


Fall Show & Sale Returns

Fall Show & Sale Returns

For the 32nd year, one of the most popular art shows featuring 75 talented Southwest Michigan pottery & sculpture artist’s creations will be on display for purchase.

The West Michigan Potters Guild invites the public on Friday, November 13 from noon to 9pm and Saturday, November 14 from 9am to 4pm to the Cultural Center at St. Nicholas located at 2250 East Paris SE in Grand Rapids.