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International Christmas trees return at Meijer Gardens

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The tradition continues at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park--40 international Christmas trees have returned for their 20th year on display.

This year's theme is "Welcoming the World". Families can get into the holiday spirit by taking a walk through the towering trees, while enjoying other holiday activities. This year, there will be visits from Santa, roof top reindeer, a holiday gala, and carolers.

For a complete schedule of activities and extended hours click here.

Groups to welcome home military for Thanksgiving

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Do you have a relative coming home from military service for Thanksgiving? If so, there are some people who want to shake their hand.

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport, along with the Patriot Guard Riders of West Michigan, will be welcoming troops home on Wednesday, November 26, one of the busiest travel days of the year.

"Operation Handshake" will have volunteers on both concourses from 8:30am to 7:00pm with refreshments, and, of course, handshakes. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other community service groups are encouraged to attend as well.

24 homes broken into in Kent County

24 homes broken into in Kent County

KENT COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) -- The sheriff's department is warning residents to lock their doors following a rash of two dozen recent home invasions.

Investigators say since Nov. 1, 24 homes been broken into in Plainfield, Cannon, Ada, Cascade, and Grand Rapids townships.

The method of home invasion and times of break-in vary. In Cannon Township, the burglars made entry to the homes through side doors into garages, where vehicles were rummaged through.

The Kent County Sheriff's Department recommends residents use dead bolts on their doors and not leave valuables inside vehicles.

If you see any suspicious person or vehicle, report it at (616) 632-6100 or call Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

Airport gets county approval for garage roof

Airport gets county approval for garage roof

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Kent County Commissioners this morning agreed to allow the Gerald R. Ford International Airport to use the county's excellent credit rating to borrow money at a lower rate.

The airport wants to put a roof on its large parking structure. No county tax money will go toward the project. Because the county's credit rating is so high, it will save about $900,000 on the project:

During the winter months, fliers cannot use the top floor of the parking structure due to the weather. The original plans for the structure included a roof, but it had to be cut due to costs.

Commissioners said the airport is the region's top economic development tool and deserves their support.

My Town: More than $95 million in improvements coming to Ford Int'l Airport

My Town: More than $95 million in improvements coming to Ford Int'l Airport


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is committed to providing state of the art facilities for its passengers, and the Airport will do just that by investing to improve its facilities with future projects.  GFIA’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which was approved by the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board at today’s meeting, will include projects from 2015 through 2020 that total over $95 million.

The anticipated CIP includes a substantial investment in the construction of the Consolidated Checkpoint & Marketplace, reconstruction of the terminal apron, a master plan update, and reconstruction of the North and East Parking Lots.  In addition, the plan includes resurfacing a portion of the airfield Perimeter Road, and mid-term maintenance items associated with the public parking structure.

Power outage hits 2,700 in Grand Rapids area

Power outage hits 2,700 in Grand Rapids area

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Consumers Energy crews are working to restore power to thousands of customers in northeast Grand Rapids after an early morning outage.

It started around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday in an area around 4 Mile Road to the north, Dean Lake Avenue to the east, Knapp Street to the south, and Plainfield Avenue to the west.

A utility spokesman says a tree fell on power lines along Dean Lake Avenue NE. Service is expected to be restored by 10:20 a.m.

Consumers reports almost 2,700 customers are without power.

Gravity Taphouse Grille opens in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Crowds packed a new Grand Rapids restaurant Friday night on its first day of business.

Gravity Taphouse Grille is on the East Beltline at I-96. It offers more than 60 different beers on tap, food pairings, and indoor and outdoor seating.

Almost half of the draft beers are from Michigan, and happy hour is tailored around local brews.

General Manager Kristin Kent said, "Each one of our locations is extremely unique, and we felt like...we wanted to have something unique to Grand Rapids. Great beer, with a lot of the brew pubs around here, great food with our restaurants downtown -- and we wanted to bring the two together."

Gravity's beer expert is just one of 40 Certified Cicerones in Michigan and the youngest in the country. Cicerones go through certain training to become an expert who chooses an establishment's beer.