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GRPD: Child abduction story was a hoax


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Police Department says an alleged attempted abduction reported Monday evening was a hoax.

In a news release early Tuesday morning, officers say the alleged victim admitted the story was not true, and that nothing had actually happened.

The original report report alleged a juvenile male was approached by a would-be abductor around 7:20 p.m.in the 3900 block of Whispering Way SE, near Burton and East Paris. The boy said a man chased, caught, and held him at knife point until a van with two other people pulled up moments later and stopped. The boy told officers he managed to get free and ran away.


GRPD responds to armed robbery at dry cleaner


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Police Department is looking for a man accused of armed robbery at a southeast-side dry cleaner Monday evening.

Officers said the robbery was reported around 6:30 p.m. at Sheldon Cleaners, 2675 East Paris Ave., near 28th St. A man armed with a handgun came into the shop demanding cash. He took an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot, investigators on the scene said.

Police have brought in canine units to try tracking him.

Anyone with information on the crime should call Grand Rapids police at 616-456-3604 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.


Historical marker unveiled at original Meijer supercenter


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Monday was a big day for the Meijer Corporation and members of the Meijer family.

The state unveiled a Michigan Historical Marker at the location of the chain's original supercenter on 28th Street at Kalamazoo Avenue.

The original Thrifty Acres opened in June 1962, combining food retail and the sale of general merchandise. At the time, that kind of service was unheard of.

"It's exciting to have recognition that this concept that my father and grandfather pioneered 53 years ago," said Hank Meijer, CEO. "This month, on this site, also has historical significance; it reaches beyond the shoppers. We try our best to serve everyday to really have meaning for the way shopping has changed across America."

The first Meijer supercenter store was 100,000 square-feet and opened with 18 checkout lanes.

Community event held to help African Americans manage money


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Recent studies show the African American dollar packs a powerful punch in the U.S. economy, with buying power projected to be in the neighborhood of $1 trillion.

Despite the progress, members of the Black community face some economic hurdles such as unemployment, debt and financial literacy.

Monday night, local community leaders are holding an event called, "Money Matters: Financially Empowering the Black Community," to address some of those issues.

Dr. Maggie Anderson, an author and financial expert is among the presenters. Anderson gained national attention when she and her family committed to spending an entire year only spending money at black-owned businesses. Since then she has been sharing her experience on the speaking circuit, including during TED Talks.

GRPD: Officer who unholstered stun gun followed policy


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Video making the rounds Thursday on social media shows a Grand Rapids police officer holding his stun gun while, what appear to be three teens are on the ground. Grand Rapids police have since shared dash cam video and their comment on the incident.

The police department says the officer acted appropriately in the situation and it was proper for him to unholster his stun gun and aim it at the individuals on the ground until backup arrived.

The video on social media shows the officer aiming a stun gun at three apparent juveniles lying face down on the ground in a position of surrender. Dash cam video from the police car shows the officer arriving to Martin Luther King Jr. Park to investigate reports of a large fight underway.

Volunteer frees cat after 10 days in tree


UPDATE: A cat that was trapped in a tree in Grand Rapids for more than a week, will soon be up for adoption. Mini the cat was taken to Crash's Landing for veterinary care. Mini's owner couldn't pay for the vaccinations and spaying, so Mini has been released to the animal rescue for future adoption.

Crash's Landing would like people to know that the gofundme.com account set up by the family to raise money for Mini's care, will no longer go toward her vet bills.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- There is a happy ending for a cat who had been trapped in a tree for more than a week.

Friday morning, she was rescued by a good Samaritan.

Last week, Mini got out of her house on Fair Street SE in Grand Rapids. Her owner, Anngel Rodofski, said Mini must have been scared by something and ran up the tree.

City manager expects 'huge payoff' with return of police academy

City manager expects 'huge payoff' with return of police academy

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—Grand Rapids Police are hoping to inspire a new generation of officers by bringing back their youth police academy.

The police department announced the return of the program in February. The first session begins June 22; the second program starts on July 20. The academies are open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors in the Kent County area who might be interested in a career in law enforcement.

"Our hope and our belief is some number of years down the line, this is going to have a huge payoff," says City Manager Greg Sundstrom.

For more information, visit the Grand Rapids Police Department's website.