Joe Biden Oval Office exterior photo
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

Extreme winter weather is dealing the first major setback to the Biden administration’s planned swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines just as the national vaccination campaign was hitting its stride.

The disruptions caused by frigid temperatures, snow and ice left the White House scrambling to work with states to make up “lost ground” even as President Joe Biden was set to visit a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Kalamazoo protest photo
Associated Press / Associated Press

Police officers in Kalamazoo were outnumbered 50-to-1 before using tear gas and chemical spray in the wee hours Tuesday to get rid of protesters and stop damage at downtown businesses, authorities said.

“It was not our community’s finest hour,” said Karianne Thomas, chief of public safety.

Meanwhile, Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and area police leaders joined protesters in a peaceful march in Ann Arbor. Harbaugh, wearing a Michigan-themed face mask, walked next to a man with a “Black Lives Matter” sign.

Total Plastics International logo
Total Plastics International

A Michigan-based plastics company transitioning to production of Personal Protection Equipment face shields is struggling to meet demand.

Leadership at Kalamazoo-based Total Plastics International reacted like most companies shuttered due to coronavirus.

“From a business perspective we went from Holy Cow, what are we going to do to how can we possibly supply all of this fast enough to meet the demand.”

We’ll let company president Tom Garrett tell the story.

Three MI mayors address inclusion and equity at GR Economic Club

Sep 24, 2019
Economy road sign
Picserver.org / Picserver.org

While the U.S. economy has been on the upswing since 2009, that prosperity is not shared by all. New evidence suggests that fully half of American workers have experienced little to no income growth in decades. 

“And how do we make sure that as we go through these growing pains and changes how do we make sure that people aren’t left out.”

That’s Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. One of the ways Bliss says Grand Rapids is addressing inequities by building partnerships in communities. 

succo via Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 / Pixabay.com

The Michigan appeals court has affirmed a 40-year prison sentence for a man who killed five bicyclists near Kalamazoo while driving a pickup truck under the influence of drugs.

Lawyers for Charles Pickett Jr. argued that the sentence was disproportionate and exceeded the advisory guidelines. But the appeals court on Thursday said the judge gave "principled reasons" to justify a higher minimum term.

Officials in Kalamazoo could decide whether a monument featuring a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American should be removed from a park. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that Kalamazoo city commissioners are to meet Monday night to consider plans for the Fountain of the Pioneers in Bronson Park.

Some residents say the piece is racist, while others argue that it's a work of art that can teach people about history. City Manager Jim Ritsema has said the fountain near the city's downtown should be removed and a new plan developed for the park.

Department of Homeland Security seal
Wikimedia Commons

A Polish-born doctor who legally came to the U.S. as a child has been released from a Michigan jail following his arrest by immigration agents over misdemeanor convictions 25 years ago.

Authorities say Lukasz Niec posted a $10,000 bond on Thursday and was released from jail in Battle Creek. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say Niec was arrested Jan. 16 for "administrative immigration violations."

The agency says the 43-year-old Kalamazoo doctor can be deported for the 1992 convictions dating to when he was in high school.

Michigan residents split over controversial fountain

Nov 21, 2017

Officials in southwest Michigan are considering how to handle a controversial fountain that some say celebrates white supremacy. The Fountain of the Pioneers in Kalamazoo features a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American. Some residents say the piece is racist, while others argue that it's a work of art that can teach people about history.

Kalamazoo City Commission saw a presentation from city staff Monday about the Bronson Park fountain's history.

A southwestern Michigan high school principal who is facing a federal sexual harassment lawsuit has resigned. The resignation of Rodney Prewitt as principal of Loy Norrix High School was announced at a Thursday meeting of the Kalamazoo Public Schools' board.

It comes less than a month after he was placed on paid administrative leave pending a district investigation. Alicia Curry sued Prewitt and the district last December, saying her constitutional rights were violated due to a sexually hostile environment created by Prewitt after a brief dating relationship between them ended.

Police say a 4-year-old boy has died after being wounded in a shooting that killed his estranged parents in southwestern Michigan. Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Assistant Chief Vernon Coakley said the shooting Thursday morning outside a home killed Julina G. Gibson and Nicholas A. Mitchell and left the child in critical condition.

police crime scene tape
Tony Webster via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / Wikimedia.org

Police say three people have been shot, including two fatally, at a home in southwestern Michigan following what was described as a family disturbance. The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says the person believed responsible for the early Thursday shooting of a child and two adults has been accounted for and there's no danger to the public. 

One of those shot may have been the one who fired the shots. Deputy Chief Karianne Thomas confirmed to the Kalamazoo Gazette that two people died, but didn't specify whether the child was among them.

Officials are testing water in Paw Paw after a dam holding back contaminated sediment was breached following heavy rainfall. Village officials in Paw Paw said the breach was discovered early Sunday. The breach didn't pose a threat to residents or properties due to flooding, but the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality wants to know whether water quality was affected. 

A man charged in connection with two slayings in Michigan is awaiting a key court hearing after being found competent for trial. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports judges in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties last month made rulings on competency after 32-year-old Zachary Patten of Portage underwent a psychiatric evaluation. He waived a key hearing in St. Joseph County to determine whether the case should go to trial and faces an Oct. 11 hearing on the same issue in Kalamazoo. 

Traveling guitar exhibit to visit Kalamazoo museum

Sep 25, 2017

Michigan residents will soon be able to rock out with the National Guitar Museum as its traveling exhibit visits the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. "GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World" opens Saturday in the downtown museum. The exhibit is broken into three parts: the science of sound; the evolution, engineering and design of the guitar; and the instrument's cultural impact. 

Mark Sanchez photo
Courtesy photo / LinkedIn.com

Why has the Grand Rapids' downtown condominium market slowed? We take a closer look along with a new survey on business owner optimism.