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School rankings show districts' points of pride, areas for improvement


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan's annual school accountability scorecards are out.


The report ranks schools according to factors like attendance and how well they meet goals set by the state's education department.


Schools that fall in the bottom five percent of the rankings are considered "priority" schools and are placed under the supervision of Michigan's school reform officer. There are 138 schools identified as "priority" schools. Nearly half of them are on that list for the fist time.


At least two West Michigan districts with priority schools also have schools among the state's top performers: Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Heights Public Schools.


My Town: Ionia County deputies warn of phone scam

My Town: Ionia County deputies warn of phone scam


IONIA COUNTY, Mich. (Ionia County Sheriff's Office)-- On 7/31/14, deputies with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of a phone scam in which the caller imitates and claims to be a representative of the Sheriff’s Office calling to collect money to avoid being arrested for a warrant. 

In the complaint received, a local woman was asked to pay $4000.00 via bank transfer to the caller to avoid being “arrested”.  The woman wisely did not pay the money and contacted the Sheriff’s Office.  This call appeared to have originated from a telephone number belonging to the Sheriff’s Office, but it was not.  This is not the first complaint of this type of scam occurring in the West Michigan area, as other departments and agencies have dealt with similar complaints recently.

Inside the August Primary: The close calls and votes cast

Inside the August Primary: The close calls and votes cast

LANSING, Mich.-- Fewer voters cast their ballots Tuesday than when Governor Rick Snyder was elected.

That's according to Fred Woodhams, spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office.  Woodhams says 1.3 million Michiganders visited the polls during the primary, accounting for approximately 20.3 percent of active voters. Active voters are defined by the Secretary of State as people who have voted within the last six years. Woodhams says approximately 17.9 percent of registered Michigan voters cast a ballot Tuesday, but that number may be skewed because people who have moved out of the state may still be registered to vote in Michigan.

Ionia County road millage narrowly defeated

IONIA, Mich. (Lansing State Journal) — A millage proposal to fund road and bridge improvements in Ionia County was defeated at the polls on Tuesday.

With all 31 precincts reporting, the millage request was defeated by 56 votes, 3,041 votes in favor to 3,097 votes against the proposal, according to unofficial vote totals released by the Ionia County Clerk's office.

The proposal was seeking 2 mills for a six-year period, with the proceeds being used to upgrade roads and bridges within Ionia County.

Voter turnout was 15.57 percent, according to the Ionia County Clerk's office.

My Town: Voters to decide key issues during Aug. 5 election

My Town: Voters to decide key issues during Aug. 5 election

Voters across West Michigan are expected to head to the polls Tuesday, Aug. 5 to decide some key issues and races.

Proposal 1 would alter Michigan’s tax infrastructure by eliminating equipment taxes for businesses that already pay taxes every year.  A portion of sales tax revenue that goes to the state treasury would be reallocated to local governments to cover the tax revenue loss.  Plainfield Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden says the ballot measure would make Michigan more economically competitive with other states.

Federal report: More Michigan babies breastfeeding

Federal report: More Michigan babies breastfeeding

GREENVILLE, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- In a state where nearly 7 in every 1,000 babies die before their first birthdays, efforts to promote breastfeeding in hospitals and homes of new moms seem to paying off, according to a new federal report.

Health experts say one of the best ways to fortify baby against a world full of disease is with mother’s milk.

In 2013, three of four babies born in Michigan are breastfed at least once, with nearly 1 in four still being breastfeed a year later, according to the 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

The reasons?

Efforts by local hospitals and health advocates to focus on the first hours and days after birth.

Suspects in Ionia County burglaries arrested

BELDING, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two men arrested Monday are accused of stealing from Ionia County homes and selling the stolen items to Grand Rapids-area pawn shops.

A task force including members of the Ionia County Sheriff's Office and the Michigan State Police helped identify the men as suspects in a recent string of home invasions and burglaries in northwestern Ionia County. Investigators say they found stolen computers, PlayStation consoles, power tools, and jewelry at a pawn shop after conducting surveillance of the suspects selling items to that shop.

Authorities later pulled the suspects over in Grand Rapids, finding more stolen goods and narcotics in the suspect vehicle.

The men were lodged in the Kent County Jail and have additional home invasion charges pending in Ionia County.

Investigators have not yet identified the suspects, pending arraignment.