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My Town: West Michigan home to three of most dangerous Mich. places

My Town: West Michigan home to three of most dangerous Mich. places

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich.—West Michigan is home to three of the 10 most dangerous places in the state, according to Movoto Real Estate.

The company based its rankings on cities with populations of 10,000 or more that also ranked high in murder, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes, based on the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report.  Flint topped the list, followed by Benton Harbor, Detroit, Highland Park, Muskegon Heights, Harper Woods, Inkster, Flint Township, Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo. Grand Rapids came in at No. 16, Holland ranked 26th,  Walker took 32nd place, Grandville ranked 41st, Norton Shores landed at No. 42, Kalamazoo Township was 45th and Grand Haven came in at No. 50 among the 102 qualified communities.  To see the entire list, visit Movoto’s website here.

Kent ISD superintendent announces retirement

Kent ISD superintendent announces retirement


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—After more than three decades helping to educate hundreds of thousands of children, the superintendent of Kent Intermediate School District is leaving his post.

Tuesday, Kevin Konarska announced his plans to retire at the end of the school year. Konarska has worked for Kent ISD for nine years, helping the agency navigate through the Great Recession and deep funding cuts by the state, all while opening new education programs and a laboratory school.

"It will be very hard to see Kevin leave," Board President Claudia Bajema said in a news release to WZZM 13. "He has made such a difference in the schools we serve and in the opportunities available to the more than 100,000 students throughout our service region."

My Town Walker: Crews try to squeak in work on busy corridor before snow starts

My Town Walker: Crews try to squeak in work on busy corridor before snow starts

WALKER, Mich.—A busy corridor that’s difficult to drive during holiday shopping season is about to become even more troublesome to travel.

Crews with the Michigan Department of Transportation will begin traffic signal work at Alpine Avenue (M-37) at 3 Mile Road Monday, which means lane closures for drivers.  One lane of 3 Mile Road will be closed from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily; double lane closures on northbound and southbound Alpine Avenue will take place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., meaning a single lane will be open in each direction overnight. The lane closures are expected to last through Thursday; however, the work is weather dependent.

My Town Walker: The Candy Games this Weekend

My Town Walker: The Candy Games this Weekend

WALKER, Mich.-- The community is invited to reserve free tickets for this delightful Christmas musical that combines Candy Land and "The Hunger Games."

This is a family-friendly production in which children hunt to find the perfect candy for Christmas and the candies are competing to be the perfect choice.

This musical will take place at Orchardhill Church, located at 1465 Three Mile Road NW. Performance times are Friday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are free and available by e-mailing  tickets@orchardhill.org or by calling (616) 784-4060.

My Town Walker: 'Warm Hands Warm Hearts' while cleaning out your closet

My Town Walker: 'Warm Hands Warm Hearts' while cleaning out your closet

WALKER, Mich.—A business centered around teeth is focusing on warming hands and hearts this holiday season.

Fogle Orthodontics is once again hosting its Warm Hands Warm Hearts drive for families living at the YWCA West Central Michigan’s domestic violence emergency shelter.  This year, the most needed item is women’s and children’s boots.  New or gently used coats, hats, mittens, gloves and scarves may also be donated.

The drive runs through Dec. 18 at Fogle Orthodontics, at 933 Three Mile Road NW Suite 102.  Donations can be dropped off during regular business hours, which are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The office is closed for lunch from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.


Each year, the YWCA provides a safe haven for more than 500 victims of domestic violence.  

My Town: Celebrating the holidays like a pioneer

My Town: Celebrating the holidays like a pioneer

WALKER, Mich.-- Registration is required to experience this holiday trip back in history.

Guests have the opportunity to decorate their own cookie next to the cozy fire, create a craft in the Star School House and take part in snow games in the school yard. This peek into holiday pioneer life will take place Saturday, Dec. 13 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW.

Cost: $5 for members, $8 for non-members

Register at (616)735-6240 or visit www.blandfordnaturecenter.org for more calendar listings.

My Town: Sixth grade students face off in Cupcake War

My Town: Sixth grade students face off in Cupcake War

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The baking battle is over, and the winner is West Michigan charities.

Wednesday, sixth grade students from Blandford School, Zoo School and CA Frost Environmental Science Academy competed in their own Cupcake War to raise money for local charities.  The students worked in teams of four to create a cupcake that would take top ratings in theme, appearance, design and taste.  They also had to incorporate a special ingredient.

The Best of Show award went to Blandford School.  Zoo School sold the highest percentage of their cupcakes, and CA Frost Environmental Science Academy sold the most cupcakes.  Altogether, the schools raised $656 selling their cupcakes, which will go to the schools’ charity of their choice.