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Beacon Hill at Eastgate breaks ground on $30M expansion


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A $30 million expansion is underway at Beacon Hill at Eastgate, a retirement community on the city's southeast side.

Beacon Hill broke ground Thursday on a project that includes 56 new apartments, a new community garden, and dining hall.

Beacon Hill operators say the current community is at full occupancy with a lengthy waiting list. And 49 of the 56 units under construction have already been sold.


Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie at it's Best

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie at it's Best

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie                                           

2 pints Blue Berries (Divided)

½ cup White Sugar

½ cup Water

Pinch of Salt

I tablespoon Corn Starch mixed with a few spoonfuls of water till smooth

Mix 2/3 cup berries, sugar, water & salt and bring to a boil over med heat. Cook until most of the berries are cooked and the mixture has a nice color. Add the cornstarch, a little at a time, till thickened. Cook till clear, then remove from heat and let cool completely. Add the remaining fresh berries and pour over cream mixture. Refrigerate. Top with Cool Whip.  Toss a few fresh  berries on top just before serving. (Optional)

Mark DeJong will lead Vanguard Charter Academy for 2015-2016

Mark DeJong will lead Vanguard Charter Academy for 2015-2016

Mark DeJong, who holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from St. Cloud State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Bethel University, will serve as the new principal of Vanguard Charter Academy for the 2015-2016 school year. Mark replaces Daryl Vriesenga who retired at the end of this past school year.

Mark is a familiar face around school, having served as assistant principal and academic dean since 2011. He has spent the past 15 years in education in the classroom and leadership. Before moving to Michigan he served as the superintendent and principal of an elementary school in Minnesota along with leading an elementary school in the Dominican Republic as their principal.

2 injured in stabbing at GR gas station


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police have taken a man to jail following a stabbing at a Grand Rapids gas station Friday night.

The stabbing was reported around 10:30 p.m. at the Admiral gas station on Kalamazoo Ave. just north of 44th St.

Investigators tell WZZM 13 the two people involved were acquaintances and in a car together at the gas station when they started arguing. One of them produced a knife -- police said they aren't yet sure who -- and both received stab wounds in the fight. One of the men was hospitalized with serious injuries. The jailed man had superficial injuries.

Investigators are still determining how exactly the men are acquainted and why their fight started. Officers said there's no danger to the public.

City raid of backyard recycling operation spurs lawsuit


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) – For 40 years, William and Patricia Peterson have enjoyed living in their 133-year-old house, recognized by the City of Grand Rapids as a Cherry Hill Historic Home.

Neighbors stroll by, offering compliments to their well-tended flower garden on the north side of Cherry Street across from James Avenue SE. It's what's in back of the house that's causing Peterson trouble.

Aluminum siding, bike tires, typewriters, milk crates – even a bucket of batteries. If it can be recycled or reused, you'll likely find it in Peterson's backyard or garage.

The city of Grand Rapids – for the fifth time – has hauled Peterson into court, charging him with violating a zoning ordinance prohibiting backyard recycling operations in a residential area.

GRPD: 3 injured in overnight shooting


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Police are investigating an overnight drive-by shooting that left three people injured, with one leaving the scene in critical condition.

It happened around 2:20 a.m. Thursday near the corner of Madison Avenue and Brown Street SE.

Officers say the gunman was in a car, and opened fire before driving away northbound on Madison.

They say one of the victims was hit in the abdomen, while two others were hit in their legs.

Police are working on a description of the gunman. There's no word on the conditions of the victims.


$7 million mixed-use development opens in Eastown


GRAND RAPIDS - From vacant to vibrant: that's how Orion Construction describes its Eastown Flats project.

Officials on Tuesday cut the ribbon on the mixed-use development that features 35 apartments and retail space. Orion says 80 percent of the apartments are leased, as is the retail space.

The two buildings on either side of Wealthy Street replace a parking lot on one side and a crime-ridden car wash on the other.

City leaders gathering for Tuesday's celebration said it was "an exciting project" they were delighted to see go up.

One of the businesses, Sacred Expressions, is expanding to Grand Rapids from Holland. Owner Joshua Trudgeon said Eastown has "a great feel great people we wanted to be a part of that energy so we decided to come down here and set up our space."

The glass blowing and custom tattoo store should be open in two weeks.