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GRPD adding mobile command center near Chicken Coop


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Police Department is assigning extra officers and equipment to the intersection of South Division and Hall Street following an early morning murder early last Sunday outside the Chicken Coop restaurant.

Officers say they plan to have a very noticeable presence outside the Chicken Coop starting this weekend, especially after the bars close at 2 a.m. That's when the restaurant get crowded with customers looking for a late night snack. And in the past, that's when they've had fights and shootings. Starting Friday night, GRPD is parking a mobile command post at the intersection, complete with lights cameras and extra officers.

'Reading Rocks' at Dickinson Elementary


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)— The classrooms of Dickinson Elementary were filled with local community leaders and parents Friday, as students celebrated March is Reading Month with 'Reading Rocks.'

"We invite about a hundred community partners, parents and volunteers to come and share a book or a passage or a poem or just to share words of wisdom with our students to really drive home the importance of reading," explains Principal Stephanie Davis Johnson.

Johnson says the event is aimed at showing children the value of literacy.


GRPS leaders share success secrets with Detroit


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—Leaders of Grand Rapids Public Schools are sharing their strategies for success to help improve the future for students in Detroit.

"There are so many issues facing urban districts and you have to get the right formula to make it happen. What people in Detroit have been doing and what we've been doing, we've sort of been on the same path. It's just that we have been able to get some traction here," explains GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal.

State lawmakers were also on hand for Friday's Urban Education Summit at Burton Elementary School. State Rep. Winnie Brinks organized the event.

Woman convicted in bacon-burger brouhaha


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - Jurors today convicted a Grand Rapids woman of firing a handgun at a McDonald's drive-through after her cheeseburger was delivered without bacon.

Kent County jurors deliberated about an hour before returning guilty verdicts against Shaneka Monique Torres. The trial before Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan got underway Monday.

She faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced next month.

The dust-up occurred about 3 a.m. Feb. 10, 2014 at the McDonald's on 28th Street near Madison Avenue SE, although seeds of discord were planted several hours earlier. That's when Torres and a friend stopped by the drive through for bacon cheeseburgers, but restaurant workers messed up the order. They spoke with the manager, who offered a complimentary bacon burger on their next visit.

Dick Ford funeral arrangements released


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Funeral arrangements are scheduled for President Ford's younger brother.

Dick Ford passed away last week at the age of 90. He was one of the president's three half-brothers from his mother's second marriage.

Visitation is Friday, March 27 from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Metcalf and Jonkhoff funeral chapel on Cascade Road.

The funeral is at 2 p.m. Saturday at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids.


Man dies after shooting at Chicken Coop restaurant


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Police Department is investigating a deadly shooting early Sunday morning at the Chicken Coop restaurant, located at Hall Street and Division Avenue.

Investigators say around 3 a.m. a 32-year old man showed up at Spectrum Health Butterworth hospital with a gunshot wound. He was taken into surgery in critical condition but died a short time later.

The victim has been identified as Terence Hollis.

Officers believe Hollis and a suspect got into a fight inside the building, then moved to the parking lot where the shooting occurred. It's not clear what role the victim played.

Any one with information about this shooting is asked to call Grand Rapids Police or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

My Town: Kent ISD throws support behind sales tax hike proposal

My Town: Kent ISD throws support behind sales tax hike proposal

KENT COUNTY, Mich.--- The Kent Intermediate School District is throwing its support behind a sales tax hike to fix Michigan’s roads and provide additional funding for schools and local governments.

Thursday, March 19, the Kent ISD Board approved a resolution in support of Proposal 1, which will be on the May 5 ballot.  In the resolution, the Board said Michigan ranks last in the nation in transportation spending per person.  The Board also noted money being siphoned from the School Aid Fund to higher education, since the previous sales tax proposal generating funding for schools did not include colleges and universities.