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West Michigan Armed Forces Thanksgiving Luncheon to Pay Tribute to United Sates Military Members

Students from across West Michigan are joining area business leaders to celebrate local members of the Armed Forces – past, present and future – during the 2nd Annual West Michigan Armed Forces Thanksgiving Appreciation Luncheon at the JW Marriott in Downtown Grand Rapids on Friday, May 5th. Military members will be in attendance for this event aimed at strengthening awareness and dialogue on the contributions our military personnel have made and continue to make on behalf of their families, their friends and their country.

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Often listed among the top 10 fears people have, public speaking is a skill that can help anyone regardless of their age or background. Whether it’s at school, work or among friends and family, the ability to speak in front of an audience – even if it’s an audience of one – can be the key to future success. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the oldest Toastmasters International organization in Michigan – located here in Grand Rapids – continues to thrive as it celebrates its 70th birthday.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. With more than 345,000 members around the world, Toastmasters empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by providing a safe, supportive and structured setting for its members to acquire and practice meaningful communications and leadership skills on a regular basis to promote and enhance career and personal growth.

Free Fishing Weekend Coming Up

Free Fishing Weekend Coming Up

For the Valentine’s weekend, it’s a free fishing weekend for residents and out of state visitors.

All fishing license fees are waived for two days in Michigan, February 13 & 14 from 6:00am – 10:00pm. This allows fishing enthusiasts to enjoy the chance to catch all types of fish on both inland and Great Lakes’ waters during their respective open season. Just remember that all regulations still apply.

Call: (517)284-5839 or email walters@michigan.gov for more information. Visit www.michigan.gov for details.

Greenville teen fighting rare toxic shock syndrome


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The family of a Greenville teenager wants others to be aware of the rare disease that almost took their daughter's life.

Rylie Whitten, 15, has one of the worst cases of toxic shock syndrome that doctors in West Michigan have ever seen. It's a condition that affects primarily young women -- but because it starts as a staph infection, anyone can get it.

For the Whitten family, it happened just after the holidays on Jan. 4.  Rylie was anxious to get back to school. Her father, Nate, says she didn't feel well, which was unusual.  "She's young, healthy, never had any medical problems whatsoever."

Woman charged in boy's death 'felt the truck rise'


STANTON, Mich. (WZZM) -- As 4-year-old Talos Bills, accompanied by his 16-year-old cousin, rode a red scooter in a crosswalk east across M-57 in downtown Greenville, a woman stopped at the red light watched in horror as a 2012 Chevy Silverado ran over the boy and headed north on M-91, according to testimony Monday.

"I watched the little boy pass my car and then I watched the driver come around very tight,'' Erin Molly Rogers testified through tears. "I watched the little boy hit first and then he kind of flipped. We watched him go under and the tire went over him.''

West Michigan church vandalized: 'God is a lie'


EUREKA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Montcalm County deputies are trying to find those responsible for vandalizing a church just south of Greenville.

Deputies were called to the Belgreen Seventh Day Adventist Church on Nov. 18 to assess the damage. Upon arrival, they found orange graffiti spray-painted on the east side of the building. The incident is believed to have occurred sometime late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

At this time, deputies believe this is a religiously biased crime.

If you have any information, please call the Montcalm County Sheriff's Office at (989) 831-7590.

Elderly unlicensed driver charged in death of 4-year-old


GREENVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Weeks after a 4-year-old boy was struck and killed in Greenville, the elderly unlicensed driver police say is responsible is now facing felony charges.

Susan Rieckman, 69, of Cedar Springs, is charged with driving on a suspended license causing death.

Just before noon Sept. 14, police say 4-year-old Talos Bills and a 16-year-old family friend were crossing South Lafayette at Washington on the way home.

Rieckman turned left, injuring the 16-year-old and killing Talos.

The family of Talos says they harbor no hatred for the driver, but says she needs to answer for her mistake.

"Because, I mean, he lost his life," points out Pamela Bills, the boy's grandmother. "She didn't have a license and she shouldn't be driving."