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Former addicts help church members build a Habitat for Humanity home

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Some former drug addicts who are rebuilding their lives are also building a future for a family in Grand Rapids. 

Men from Guiding Light Mission's recovery program joined members of Westminster Presbyterian Church Wednesday to help build a home for Habitat for Humanity.  They spent several  hours hammering together a home on Merrill Southwest. 

Volunteers said they didn't mind Wednesday's rain or high temperatures.  Volunteer Patrick Weber says, "Giving back to the community, it helps a lot. I feel really good about it."

Church member Ron Hoekman says, "It's really a joy to have them working here to be able to work along side them."

The men from Guiding Light Mission have helped with a variety of events and organizations in the past including the Mental Health Foundation and Picnic Pops.

Grand Rapids neighborhood celebrates end of construction

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Mayor George Heartwell and other community leaders today cut the ribbon to celebrate the end of construction in the Hall Street and Madison Avenue area of southeast Grand Rapids.  

For the past two years, the area has been ripped up for construction as workers seperated storm sewers.  While they were at it, they added ornamental lighting, seating and other enhancements to improve the ambience of the Madison Square business district. 

Heartwell said it was "a vital area that was flat on its back and is coming back strong." 

A community streetfair wil be held at Madison Square Saturday.

Oval Office rug made by Grand Rapids company

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - When President Obama spoke to the nation from the Oval Office Tuesday night  there was a new rug under his feet. It was designed and made in Grand Rapids by the Scott Group.

"It's quite an honor," says Scott Group president Michael Ruggeri.

The Scott Group on Kraft Avenue is one of the country's leading custom rug manufacturers. They made and delivered the new Oval Office rug at no charge.

"It's been a very special experience for me and everybody here," says rug designer Mary VanHaaften.

"To have it there and be able to point to it , everybody takes great pride in it," adds vice president for operations Tim Hill.

The Scott Group contacted the Obama team more than a year ago and offered to make an Oval Office rug if and when the President decided to remodel.

"We would be willing to provide the rug at no cost," was the offer says company president Ruggeri.

September 01st, 2010 - Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the nation’s most significant sculpture and botanic experiences, will celebrate the masterwork of artist Dale Chihuly, one of the world’s foremost artists, with a large-scale outdoor sculpture exhibition. “Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden” will feature fourteen monumental glass sculptures in diverse locations across Meijer Gardens. It will be open to the public April 30, 2010 through September 30, 2010. Each of the fifteen sculptures will correspond to the horticultural aspects and natural conditions of each respective location. Chosen sites span the grounds of Meijer Gardens including the English Perennial Garden, Woodland Shade Garden, Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, wetland areas and the 30-acre Sculpture Park. “I’m happy to be coming back to Frederik Meijer Gardens”, said Chihuly.

Democratic candidate for governor stops in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Monday, the Republican running for governor campaigned in West Michigan.  Tuesday, it was the Democrat.

Virg Bernero, along with his running mate, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, brought what he calls his "Fighting for Main Street Tour", to Uncle Cheetas Soup Shoppe on Wealthy Street.

Bernero, the Mayor of Lansing, campaigned in Bay City and Flint Monday, fresh from the Democrats nominating convention held in Detroit over the weekend.

He says that the two-party election system is more "Wall Street vs. Main Street than Republican vs. Democrat and he'll likley promote his plan for a "Michigan Main Street" bank to partner with local lenders so small businesses no longer need to rely on Wall Street banks

Scott Group makes rug for the Oval Office in the White House

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- President Obama will address the nation Tuesday night in a televised speech from the Oval Office.  If you watch, you might see a West Michigan company's contribution to the White House. 

The Obama family recently remodeled the Oval Office while they were away on vacation.  The improvements include a new rug made by the Scott Group which is based in Grand Rapids.

Scott Group President Michael Ruggeri says, "It is the rug that adornes the Oval Office which is the premiere address in the United States, if not the world, so for 140 people who got behind this project and were involved in one way shape or form it is an unbelievably gratifying experience."

Designer Mary VanHaaften says, "It is an honor to contribute to part of American History really words cant describe what an honor it is."

Renovations annouced for Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Renovations are coming for the Fulton Street Farmers Market.

Tuesday the Midtown Neighborhood Association unveiled plans for sweeping changes to the market's infrastructure.

Planners say the biggest change is a permanent open-air canopy, including a small building allowing venders to sell their goods year-round, and wheel-chair accessible bathrooms.

They also say the new plans will include better entrance and exit routes, making it easier for venders and the public to traverse the single-lane marketplace.

Construction is set to begin in November and wrap-up by April before the market re-opens for the public.

A total cost for the renovations has yet to be announced, but Project Manager Christine Helms-Malatic says the estimate is around $3 million.