Hilary Farrell


Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.

Hilary's investigative work has been recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Michigan Associated Press, including awards for best investigative and documentary journalism.

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Hilary Farrell

Some fans of backyard bonfires can soon do so legally in Grand Rapids.

City commissioners voted four to three on Tuesday evening to allow recreational fires under certain conditions. The vote followed multiple public comments, including a poem written by a resident against the measure.

The open burning ordinance is a structured pilot program that’ll operate with residential permits.

It’s open to single or two-family properties meeting a minimum lot size of 5,000 square feet and other restrictions, including approval of adjacent neighbors.

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Grand Rapids Police Department / grcity.us

A man shot during what police are calling an armed robbery in southeast Grand Rapids has died.

The Grand Rapids Police Department says Kenneth Ray-Daniel Kirkwood died early Tuesday morning from gunshot injuries sustained Monday night.

Police say the 39-year-old man was with another man on a porch on the 1600 block of College Avenue SE when he was shot several times.

A GRPD report says three male suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money. Police were called to the scene just after 9 p.m.

Patrick Center

The National Weather Service has confirmed evidence of several tornadoes on Saturday across western Michigan.

The service says damage  was confirmed in Kent, Van Buren, Allegan, Ottawa, Ionia and Montcalm counties.

The NWS on Sunday said preliminary data showed an EF-1 tornado between Bangor and Jamestown townships in Van Buren and Ottawa Counties, and an EF-0 in the southwest Grand Rapids metropolitan area.

Downed traffic lights at 36th and Byron Center in Wyoming.
Philip Bierlein

Thousands of power outages remain across Michigan as of Sunday afternoon after severe storms including at least one tornado hit the state.

Consumers Energy officials say the greater Grand Rapids area was the hardest hit.

Company spokesperson Roger Morgenstern says about 12,000 Kent County customers remain without power as of Sunday afternoon.

The company reported more than 400 downed wires with more than 24,000 customers affected in Kent County on Saturday night.

Patrick Center

Severe weather has slammed parts of western and southwestern Michigan as storms moved northeast across the state. 

Hilary Farrell

A Thursday picnic promoting unity drew hundreds for music, food and fellowship at Heartside Park in Grand Rapids.

Sue Gilbert with the Heartside Neighborhood Collaboration Project helped get everything off the ground.

"[The goal of the event was to] get people together to recognize each other, to talk to each other, to treat each other with respect," she says.

Heartside is certainly going through changes.

Chrisklee18 via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A federal lawsuit against the city of Wyoming and two city officials alleges wrongful termination and retaliation against so-called 'two-hatter' employment.

The $500,000 suit brought by former Wyoming and Jamestown Township firefighter Thomas Saladino was filed in Grand Rapids federal court last week.

It names the city of Wyoming, City Manager Curtis Holt and Wyoming Public Safety Director James Carmody.


The Pew Research Center defines the Millenial generation as those born between the years of 1980 and 2000. This group is said to make up more than 40 percent of the workforce – a number that will only increase over the next decade.

Ken Miguel-Cipriano is a local resident, Peruvian immigrant and graduate of the University of Michigan. He graduated in debt and juggled a number of jobs – in a number of locations – before getting to a sense of stability.

Steven Lek via Wikimedia | Public Domain image / wikimedia.org

After six years, the American Diabetes Association of West Michigan says it's re-launching local fundraising events with the Tour de Cure and Step Out Walk on September 11.

gavel and law book
SalFalko via Flickr | CC BY 3.0 / flickr.com

A Hudsonville man was sentenced to four years in prison this week for investment fraud.

Steven Jack Hayes was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison on Tuesday for defrauding investors of more than $1 million over a 14-year period.

The 60-year-old man was also ordered to pay $822,961.23 in restitution and another $90,806 to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.