Kent County

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A lawyer has urged a judge to ignore "popular opinion" and affirm the release of a woman who has spent 30 years in prison for killing residents at a nursing home.

Kent County Judge Joe Rossi heard arguments Monday in a challenge to parole for Catherine Wood. There was no immediate decision.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan photo
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Democratic Presidential Candidate Tim Ryan visited West Michigan this weekend as keynote speaker for the Kent County Democratic Party annual Spring Gala. WGVU spoke with the U.S. Congressman from Ohio ahead of the event about his platform heading into the 2020 race.

U.S. Representative Tim Ryan says if he’s elected president he’d unite the country and focus on what he calls the new economy.

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Michigan is one of only four states that automatically prosecutes all 17-year-olds as adults for any offense. Although the bill was introduced nearly two years ago, it wasn’t until this past Thursday that the Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting heard from fellow legislators of the bill’s implications. Here is Senator Sylvia Santana, one of the lead sponsors of the bill. 

“In my humble opinion MDOC is not equipped to raise children in the adult system nor support their cognitive needs to get them back on the right track.”

SNN: Kenowa Hills Security

Oct 10, 2018
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Kent County voters passed a 55-million dollar bond last year, enabling school districts to create stronger schools and stronger communities. One district is using those dollars to strengthen security.

Students in Kenowa Hills Public Schools are getting used to entering their buildings in a brand new way. Buzzer systems with updated features allow better communication between the person wanting in and the office staff who can open the doors.

Water faucet
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A health report released Tuesday indicates a significantly higher than expected rate for prostate cancer in Northern Kent County private drinking wells tested for PFAS.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kent County Health Department released cancer incident data as it pertains to PFAS found in two Northern Kent County combined zip codes private drinking wells. Think Belmont and Rockford where Wolverine World Wide dumped waste.

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Kent County and Airbnb recently announced a tax agreement authorizing the company to collect hotel taxes on behalf of Kent County hosts. 

County officials say this levels the playing field.

A new tax agreement is now in place and Kent County expects to benefit from people visiting the region and staying longer through home sharing or Airbnb’s. 

Here’s Matthew VanZetten, Assistant County Administrator.

Mark Sanchez
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Kent County and Amazon negotiating a distribution site and Spectrum Health is in a naming rights battle over its MedNow service. / Kent County

Today, the Kent County Sheriff’s Marine Division had to assist Plainfield Township in rescuing a resident due to rising floodwaters.  The resident was rescued safely.  More than 100 residents have evacuated their homes in Kent County this week.  And now, the Kent County Emergency Management staff are encouraging residents to use good sense when dealing with flooding and not to wait until it’s too late to leave.

After 33 years of public service, Grand Rapids City Clerk Darlene O’Neal is stepping down from her post this February. Beginning her career as a typist in the Housing Inspections Department in 1985, O’Neal rose through the ranks at City Hall before being appointed as Grand Rapids City Clerk in 2014. WGVU’s spoke with O’Neal about how Grand Rapids has changed in her 33 years of public service, and what she plans on doing once she leaves City Hall for good.

ITS Partners

A Grand Rapids-based IT consulting firm is making a multi-million dollar investment in a new headquarters and creating dozens of high-tech jobs.

Business is good for Grand Rapids’ ITS Partners with the development of new technologies and security threats. So good, that it will more than double its workforce over the next three years from 56 locally to 124.

The information technology consulting firm has been around for 30 years, but lately its increase in sales has produced a need for not only more talent but more space.