Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Public Museum

He was one of the first African-Americans to serve in the United States Marines and was an education leader in West Michigan. Reuben Smartt recently passed away at the age of 91. His life was celebrated this week.

“Reuben and I played baseball for the Grand Rapids Black Sox.”

Reuben played shortstop and Henry Saverson played second base.

As protests have sprung up all over the country in oppossition to President Donald Trump's immigration ban, Grand Rapids mayor Rosalynn Bliss has issued a formal statement. Mayor Bliss began by saying that not only does she not support the ban, but that it does not reflect the character of the city. 

"I am disheartened and deeply concerned by the President’s executive order on immigrants and refugees," Mayor Bliss said in the written statement. "This does not reflect the values of our community." 

Muskegon economy forecast: things are looking up

Jan 27, 2017

A day after experts forecast a slower 2017 economy in Grand Rapids that may ultimately lead to a recession, one economist says the future is looking bright in Muskegon.

While experts have said the economy will slow down in Kent and Ottawa counties in the next year, specifically in job growth, just 40 miles away at the Muskegon County annual economic forecast, experts say the county’s best days may be still ahead.

Progressive AE

Grand Rapids’ Michigan Street corridor continues its eastbound development expansion with the groundbreaking of a $42 million mixed-use project.

“Ready? One…two…three…”

With that Grand Rapids city leaders and Diamond Place project partners with shovels in hand broke ground on 2.8 acres at the corner of Diamond and Michigan Streets. It’s where the old Proos Manufacturing facility once stood.

Grand Rapids Inauguration Day "watch party" reactions

Jan 20, 2017
Wikimedia Commons / Joint Congressional Inauguration Committee

As President Donald Trump took the oath of office and was officially sworn in, watch parties across Grand Rapids took place to witness the ushering in of a new presidency. WGVU spoke with a number of people about their immediate reaction to President Trump's inauguration speech.

"We will make America great again!"

As President Donald Trump finished his inaugural speech, a large crowd at kent County GOP headquarters cheered on the new president, and most felt that the speech delivered a unifying message after months of division.

Grand Rapid’s American Seating is in the process of selling its iconic stadium seating division.

That potential sale would include the downsizing of its workforce.

A Letter of Intent to sell has been signed by American Seating and Irwin Seating Company.

American Seating is a world leader in transportation seating and it wants to focus on growth opportunities there. Stadium seating, known in the industry as Architectural Fixed Seating has become a seasonal business. The company says that poses “operational challenges.”

Custom Profile / Clark Communications

Two companies located in the Grand Rapids area are adding more than one hundred jobs and have committed to investing millions of dollars in expansion.

In Grand Rapids, Denmark-based Gabriel, known for its upholstery products is expanding on the city’s West Side. At 560 5th St. NW, Gabriel will open its first North American sales and manufacturing location.

The company will invest $1.5 million dollars into the construction of a 30,000 square foot facility.

Meijer Gardens /

The print and drawing archives of sculptor Beverly Pepper will be part of the permanent collection at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

Meijer Gardens says seven decades of Pepper's work - including hundreds of drawings, prints, works on paper and notebooks - are part of the gift.

Pepper's work often incorporates industrial metals like iron, bronze, stainless steel and stone.

Meijer Gardens says it plans to host a retrospective exhibition of work drawn from the archives from Feb. 2, 2018 to April 19, 2018.

Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Police say an FBI agent has been arrested in western Michigan after firing his gun at a local officer outside a fitness club.

No injuries were reported in the shooting at Planet Fitness in Grand Rapids.

Police say the 35-year-old man who fired around 1:20 a.m. Tuesday was quickly arrested.

His name wasn't released.

The FBI acknowledged the agent's arrest and says it's cooperating with Grand Rapids police. It declined further comment.

Police had responded to 911 calls that the man was brandishing a gun inside the fitness club.

Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Nonstop air service from Grand Rapids to Washington D.C. will soon resume after a four year hiatus. Four years ago both Delta and Frontier Airlines dropped nonstop service from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. That meant West Michigan travelers had to drive a few hours to catch a flight to the nation’s capital elsewhere.

Monday, American Airlines announced it will restore service next year in early April.