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Protesters standing with signs
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

More than 150 protesters gathered in downtown Grand Rapids as part of a national climate strike Friday.

They want Senator Gary Peters and other Democrats to commit to the Green New Deal.

public domain / Wikimedia Commons

Candidates running to unseat Congressman Justin Amash will debate Monday night in Grand Rapids.

Amash left the Republican Party earlier this year, after calling for an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.

Amash is running for re-election as an independent, and several people are now running against him.

aeiral view of flooded Grand River
City of Grand Rapids / Facebook

A majority of Michigan’s rivers have more water than usual for this time of year. That’s according to measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Elevated water levels are causing issues for water infrastructure in the state.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The swirling liquid rushes into concrete channels behind a black chain-link fence.

“That is what sewage looks like,” says Nicole Pasch, who works in Environmental Services for the city of Grand Rapids.

Pasch is showing off the wastewater treatment facility, along with the various stages the sewage has to pass through before it can be sent back into the nearby Grand River, which flows into Lake Michigan.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss called her re-election campaign a success before all the votes were even in.

Bliss and her campaign team saw how far ahead she was when the first election results came in, and they felt her 10,000 vote lead was too big to overcome.

Bliss says she has a lot of things she wants to get done in her next term.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In Flint, city officials, law enforcement and church leaders are concerned about a rise in violent crime.

There have been 34 murders in Flint this year. That’s up from 30 this time last year.

Police Chief Tim Johnson says suspects in a triple homicide over the weekend are in custody.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Thousands of people still don’t have power in West Michigan after severe thunderstorms – and possible tornadoes – passed through the area Wednesday night.

Consumers Energy reported more than 20,000 customers were without power in the wake of the storm.

Peter Meijer headshot
Courtesy of With Honor

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan and a Grand Rapids-based organization are planning to file a formal complaint of discrimination against Peter Meijer, who is currently running as a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan's 3rd Congressional District.

Grand Rapids city commissioners passed a new human rights ordinance to protect against discrimination in the city

The ordinance expands the group of people who can be considered a protected class.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

You could see canvassers from the Census Bureau in your neighborhood soon.

The Census Bureau is starting its first major field operation prior to the 2020 Census: address canvassing. Basically, the Census Bureau needs to verify people’s addresses so it can accurately send invitations to respond to and participate in the census. 

Lou Canfield is the city of Grand Rapids' Development Center Manager, and the Grand Rapids 2020 Complete Count Committee liaison. He works with that committee to ensure an accurate count from Grand Rapids.

Study ranks car mileage by vehicle and city

Aug 1, 2019
Looking east down I-94 toward Detroit.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A group says the Chevrolet Suburban is the most driven used car in Detroit and Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo. iSeeCars.com says they looked at over 2.3 million sales of used 10-year-old cars for the study. It looks at the most popular cars driven annually.

Driverless shuttle
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

You and four other passengers can now ride autonomous shuttles for free in downtown Grand Rapids. The one-year pilot program officially launched Friday. 

Josh Naramore, the Director of the city’s mobility department known as Mobile GR, says the city and its private partners will be gathering data from the shuttles for the next year.

Men playing drums
Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Residents and city officials in Grand Rapids came together Wednesday to celebrate Juneteenth.

Dickinson Buffer Park in Grand Rapids was full of kids running across the grass, tents with Pan-African flags and bracelets, and older residents sitting and laughing with their neighbors.  

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids city commissioners are expected to vote on the city’s $553 million budget at tonight’s meeting.

The budget calls for hiring an additional 26 staff. That includes two new police officers and other support staff for the department.

The city will increase spending on parks and road improvements, but still sock away a few million dollars for its rainy day fund.

a blue index card with information and photos of the wrestler Toni Rose
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Today on Stateside, amidst a rise in hate crimes against both Jews and Muslims in the world, leaders of both faith communities in Southeast Michigan are coming together to find common ground in fighting against that hate. Plus, why the state of Michigan once had a registry of pro-wrestlers like Andre the Giant and Bruno Sammartino.  

Muslim and Jewish leaders in SE Michigan stand together to combat rise in hate

Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The city of Kalamazoo is still undecided on whether it will allow recreational marijuana shops to open in the city.

So it’s holding a public workshop to weigh the pros and cons, Monday evening at 6pm in the community room at Kalamazoo City Hall, 241 W. South St.

calder plaza in downtown Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Several Grand Rapids residents spoke in favor of proposed changes to a civil rights ordinance at a public meeting Tuesday night.

One change to the ordinance would make it illegal to call the police on people of color when they aren’t doing anything wrong. Doing so would be a misdemeanor if the city adopts the changes.

downtown Grand Rapids
Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

The city of Grand Rapids is holding a public hearing Tuesday evening to discuss proposed changes to its civil rights ordinance.

One change to the ordinance would make it illegal to call the police on people of color when they aren’t doing anything wrong. Doing so would be a misdemeanor if the city adopts the changes.

List of things to consider when creating plans for Grand River restoration projects
Bryce Huffman

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public input on potential changes to the Grand River landscape near downtown Grand Rapids.

While the Army Corps has not made any plans yet, changes to the river that have been discussed over the past few years include removing the 6th Street dam, increasing the walking area on the riverfront and adding more fish passages.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Trump’s rally Thursday in Grand Rapids is espected to draw 10,000 to 12,000 people. 

Heavy traffic and possible delays are expected.

The city of Grand Rapids is closing off streets around Van Andel Arena. Parking ramps and on-street parking in the area will be off-limits as well.

The street closures are expected to last until about 8:30 p.m. They are:

president trump
flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump is bringing a campaign rally to Grand Rapids. 

The rally is scheduled for Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena. Free tickets are available here.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin expects it will be difficult overriding President Trump’s veto of legislation to block his emergency declaration to build a southern border wall.

Map of parts of Grand Rapids, Wyoming, and Walker
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

State and local officials updated some Grand Rapids residents about possible air pollution in the southwest area of the city on Wednesday night.

The company Viant Medical uses a chemical called ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment.

Photo by Dustin Dwyer. Statement by Grand Rapids Police Command Officers Association.

This has been a contentious week for officials in Grand Rapids city government. The city is dealing with the fallout over the case of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a U.S. citizen and war veteran who was mistakenly detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement based on a tip from Grand Rapids police.

picture of Connie Flachs
People Picture Company / Courtesy of Connie Flachs

Body image is something that people can wrestle with their entire lives. Being hypercritical of what you see in the mirror often starts when you’re young, and carries on throughout the rest of your life.

The Better Body Image Conference, taking place Saturday, March 2nd in Grand Rapids, aims to interrupt that self-critical voice about our bodies. 

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Consumers Energy says it expects to have power returned to all customers by midday Monday. The utility company says it’s already restored power to more than 200,000 customers since last week’s ice storms.

But the recovery isn’t over in the hardest hit parts of West Michigan.

Ice on a tree branch
Susanne Nilsson / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency in Grand Rapids, qualifying the city for additional assistance as it copes with power outages and cleans up from storms.

 

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The City of Grand Rapids will run an Emergency Operations Center through the weekend to manage the response to this week’s storms.

Areas in and around Grand Rapids took the brunt of the power outages caused by ice storms that swept through the area on Wednesday and Thursday.

Grand Rapids fire chief John Lehman says at the peak of the outages, 56,000 residents in Grand Rapids were without power – that’s about a quarter of the city’s entire population.

Those numbers included retirement homes in the city.

grand rapids mayor rosalynn bliss
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss announced her reelection campaign Monday.

Mayor Bliss became the first woman to be elected mayor in Grand Rapids when she won her election in 2015.

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