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Small Grand Rapids business owner waiting for economic recovery

GRAND RAPIDS - The president today urged senate Republicans to pass the small business legislation before them.  

 Business owner Ed Heerema says government intervention has helped his auto supplier survive the economy.  President Obama today welcomed news of private-sector job growth. But with the unemployment rate ticking upward, he said he'll roll out new plans next week to spur the economy. 

Heerma, owner of Arbor Gage and Tool, said the federal bailout of the auto industry, and the state's tax-free renaissance zones have helped his 25 person business survive.  "I'm not sure we'd be here today if it wasn't for that help so it's critical that that continue" he said Friday.  

GRPS to begin blended learning curriculum at high schools

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-  Starting Tuesday, high schoolers at Grand Rapids Public Schools will have to adapt to a blended learning curriculum. It's a new way of instruction and learning that has generated strong opinions from both supporters and opponents.

The blended model will offer two subjects, Social Studies and Math, in a blended form starting this school year. Students will operate on a three day schedule. On day one, students will meet in a traditional classroom setting where the teacher explains a concept. Days two and three the students will meet with one or more teachers and assistants and much of the work will be technology based.

Ottawa Hills @ Muskegon

MUSKEGON (WZZM) -- Facing a rare 0-2 start, the Big Reds of Muskegon hosted the always dangerous Ottawa Hills Bengals at Hackley Stadium.

On the opening kickoff, Ottawa Hills' Devon Ivey showed his moves and took the ball all the way downfield for a 6-0 lead.  Ottawa Hills missed the extrra point.

Muskegon then came back.  Kavonte Keyes ran through the line on a keeper, scoring on a 52 yard run.  The two point conversion put the Big Reds on top.

Then it was all Muskegon. The final, Muskegon 59, Ottawa Hills 6.

West Michigan schools receive federal improvement grants

LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - Twenty-eight of Michigan's lowest achieving schools have been awarded federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to help them increase student achievement, including seven schools in West Michigan.

The funds are from the federal School Improvement Grant, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) signed into law by President Barack Obama last year.

In West Michigan, the schools getting grants are:

Calvin Streetfest working in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Bands of new students fanned out across Grand Rapids this afternoon.

Calvin College's entire incoming freshman and transfer class are working across Grand Rapids on one of 55 service projects. Future students are doing everything from cleaning at local schools to working on Habitat for Humanity projects.

The program, called Streetfest, allows new students to see some of the challenges facing the area while working with the community to help address the issues.

Grand Rapids Christian Elementary celebrates opening of new building

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Students at Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School will walk through brand new halls this fall. Thursday night, for the first time, the public can tour the school's new Iroquois campus.

School tours and an ice cream social will help kick off the celebration. It's the community's first chance to see first hand a project that, for the past couple of years, has drawn lots of controversy and excitement.

The new building may not look much like the old Ottawa Hills High School that once stood in its place, but according to school superintendent Tom DeJonge, it still retains many of the same features.

August & Summer 2010 Weather Stats

Grand Rapids

Temperatures last month averaged 74.9°F, 5.5°F above average, and 5.9°F warmer than last year (69.0°F), making it the sixth warmest August on record, and the warmest since 1959 (75.5°F). Twenty seven days were warmer than usual; three were cooler, and one was average. The highest temperature occurred on August 29 with 93°F while the lowest temperature occurred on August 27 with 51°F. Temperatures for the summer season (June, July and August) averaged 73.2°F, 3.9°F above average, and 5.3°F warmer than last summer, tying for the fifth warmest summer on record, and the warmest since 1934 (73.3°F).