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Meijer Gardens reports busiest summer on record

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in western Michigan says it had its busiest summer season for attendance in its 20-year history.

The Grand Rapids attraction announced Wednesday that it had about 280,000 visitors in total in the months of June, July and August.

Meijer Gardens says the opening of its $22 million Japanese garden after years of construction and the acquisition of "Iron Tree," a large iron sculpture by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, were among the reasons for this summer's spike in attendance.

Joseph Becherer, chief curator and vice president of Meijer Gardens, says in a statement: "In this, our 20th year, it is extraordinary to see the development of Meijer Gardens from a regional institution to a cultural organization on the global stage."

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Many Construction Improvements in the Ada/Cascade Area

Many Construction Improvements in the Ada/Cascade Area

There is a lot happening in the Ada/Cascade area with construction that started on July 27th and will run through October 31st.

In Cascade, near the original Town Hall, changes will be made to the Museum Gardens, redesigning it to encourage more interaction. There will be new trees planted along with new plants, a sculpture pad, musical interaction pieces, soft lighting and new seating.

Old 28th Street will be realigned to reduce speeds when approaching and entering Cascade Rd from the east. This intersection will continue to be a right turn only but closer to a 90 degree angle. New sidewalk will be included in this project also.

Emergency crews free teen driver from under rolled car

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Firefighters from Grand Rapids and Ada Townships helped rescue a 16-year-old trapped under his rolled car Monday evening.

The crash happened in the area of 3 Mile and Maguire, east of the East Beltline.

Investigators say the teen was the only person in the vehicle. He was unconscious when firefighters arrived, but he was awake and answering questions by the time he was freed and taken to a hospital.

The crash is still under investigation, and authorities said they'll be releasing more information shortly.

Tesla charging station opens in Cascade

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- You might not be able to buy a Tesla car in Michigan, but you can now charge one in Grand Rapids.

The electric car maker opened its first "Supercharger" station in West Michigan on Monday at the Meijer on 28th Street in Cascade Township.

The station has eight stalls and will stay open 24-hours a day. Tesla owners can recharge their cars quickly while traveling long distances. The automaker partnered with Meijer to provide stations in the midwest.

"Naturally for all of our supercharger stations, we would want to put them where it's convenient for our owners to stop and take a restroom break, grab a bite to eat, maybe do a little shopping," said James Chen of Tesla Motors Inc. "So we've been looking at not traditional rest stops, but locations where there are restaurants, shops."

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Ladies Pint Out caters to Beer City women

CASCADE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Good brew and good food are the focus of the first-ever Ladies Night Out planned Wednesday evening at Watermark Country Club.

Ladies Pint Out will include beer and food pairings. Its creation follows the quarterly Wine Down series of wine nights. Organizers say it'll be a great way to learn about beer; you don't have to be a beer connoisseur to go. You'll get to ask questions and learn, while enjoying some great food. Wednesday's event will also feature a beer float made from Saugatuck's Palazollo's ice cream and Schmohz Brewing's Pickle Tink Ale or Bone Crusher Stout.

Kasie Smith from West Michigan Woman and Amy Sherman of Behind the Mitten join Jennifer Pascua on Monday's WZZM 13 News at 5 to talk about the event. See what they had to say in the video above.

New Business, New Jobs, coming to the Cascade, MI area

New Business, New Jobs, coming to the Cascade, MI area

A popular metro Detroit Restaurant known for its’ Coney dogs and Greek specialties is expanding to West Michigan. Get ready for some of the best Hot Dogs around; Leo’s Coney Island is coming to Cascade, MI. The news store is to be located at 6080  28th St. SE, formerly the Family Video storefront.

This is a great opportunity for a job in a fun atmosphere. Leo’s is looking for managers, line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers, bussers, servers and cashiers. These positions offer flexible schedules, no late nights, competitive pay and opportunities for advancement. Resumes may be sent to LeosConeyIslandGR@gmail.com

“Grand Rapids has one of the best economies in Michigan and across the nation,” said Bill Krall, owner/operator of Leo’s Coney Island. “Not only did we see this as an opportunity to tap into a booming market but also the chance to give a new community a dining option it currently doesn’t have.”

Ground broken on project to transform Ada

ADA, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Ada community has taken a major step to make its master plan a reality. Wednesday afternoon, the village broke ground on an ambitious project that, once done, will introduce a whole new Ada.

Following nearly a decade of planning, construction is kicking off on the first phase of a large-scale initiative that will transform the area. The development is set to add dozens of new retail, restaurant, and residential spaces to the village, as well as provide widespread access to the Thornapple River via a large riverfront park and amphitheater.

"I really never dreamed that would happen," said township supervisor George Haga. "I've been township supervisor for a long time, and to get a interfaced with a major partner to do this and invest in the community -- this is really exciting, not just for me but for the entire community."