Patrick Center

Patrick  joined WGVU in December, 2008, after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News Director, Patrick manages our daily news operation. An award winning reporter, Patrick is an EMMY Award nominee and was named Best Individual Reporter by the Michigan Associated Press and presented with the Best Individual Reporter Merit Award by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. . He remains loyal to his boyhood professional sports teams: Cleveland Indians, Browns and Cavaliers. Although he grew up in the "buckeye" state, he has fallen in love with the people and natural resources of West Michigan.

Kathie Klages photo
Associated Press

A former Michigan State University head gymnastics coach has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for lying to police during an investigation into ex-Olympic and university sports doctor Larry Nassar. Sixty-five-year-old Kathie Klages was found guilty by a jury in February of a felony and a misdemeanor for denying she knew of Nassar's abuse prior to 2016 when survivors started to come forward publicly. She also was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months probation.

Lisa Posthumus Lyons photo

Absentee voting has been growing in popularity. Factor in Michigan voters enacting No-Reason Absentee Voting in November of 2018 and a pandemic in 2020 and Kent County’s Clerk, Lisa Posthumas Lyons tells WGVU she expects a surge in this primary’s absentee voting.

Kent County seal
Kent County

The Kent County Board of Commissioners is taking steps to provide COVID-19 funding to county schools for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment.

Currently, the state is in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start plan allowing schools to provide in-person instruction with required safety protocols. Some school districts are making plans for virtual learning, others a hybrid of virtual and in-person instruction.

picture of Kent County Health Department sign

This week, the state moved the Grand Rapids region from a COVID-19 Medium-High risk to Medium risk after the past two weeks indicated new cases remained flat. But it’s the positivity rate that health officials are watching closely.

The Kent County Health Department is recording an average increase of five deaths per week and about 40 new COVID-19 cases per day.

There have been some ups and downs over the past two weeks, but overall, cases are flat. And during that same period some encouraging news; the positivity rate has declined.

Ron Caniff portrait
School News Network

Kent Intermediate School District Superintendent, Ron Caniff, has announced he’s retiring at the end of the year.

Caniff was appointed Kent Intermediate School District Superintendent in July 2015. Now, in his fifth year, during a pandemic making it perhaps the most demanding, Caniff sent a letter to the Kent ISD board announcing his retirement.

“The timing of my departure – the end of December – will allow us to get what will assuredly be a challenging start-up to the school year behind us and, hopefully, by the time I leave a sense of normal operations returns.”

picture of Kent County Health Department sign

A Grand Rapids area bar has been ordered closed by Kent County officials after it failed to adhere to social distance protocols.

After a cellphone video circulated on social media revealing Grand Rapids’ Social House Tavern crowd in violation of social distance protocols, the Kent County Health Department ordered it closed until further notice.

“We take these things all very seriously. And, in particular, when it comes to bars and restaurants.”

Dr. Adam London is Director of the Kent County Health Department.

Allendale Civil War Statue photo

Tuesday evening, the Allendale Township Board of Trustees will meet discussing the future of a controversial Civil War statue.

Saturday, protesters gathered in the Allendale Community Park demanding its removal.

What do we know about the statue?

“The statue, they were put up throughout the south, and some in the north, are put up as the result of the beginnings of Jim Crow and the end of reconstruction, this whole rewriting of Civil War history.”

Novel coronavirus

The daily U.S. count of new coronavirus cases stood near an all-time high Thursday. It's hovering close to the late-April peak when 36,400 were reported. The Kent County Health Department is watching with concern after a jump in cases reported Thursday.

In early May, Kent County experienced its COVID-19 outbreak peak with161 cases reported on average each day. Between may 2nd and June 10th cases declined to an average of 26 new cases.

Gleaves Whitney, Director Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation has selected its next executive director.

After conducting an extensive national search, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Board has selected Gleaves Whitney, Director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University to succeed Joe Calvaruso as the foundation’s next Executive Director.

Whitney’s programs at the Hauenstein Center pair with the mission of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation which is committed to the legacy of President Ford, public service and civic engagement.

Kent ISD
Kent ISD

The results are in, and with the majority of parents surveyed, the Kent Intermediate School District has drafted its School Re-entry Plan for navigating the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

More than 30,000 parents responded to the Kent Intermediate Superintendents’ Association School Re-entry Survey.

“Almost 90% of the parents who responded to the survey believe that in-person instruction is the very best option in terms of a quality educational experience for their child.”