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.

Rapid Silver Line bus

Members of the American Public Transportation Association are in Washington this week. That includes the CEO of Grand Rapids’ Interurban Transit Partnership. Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid is speaking to Congress on behalf of the American Public Transportation Association.

APTA says the Trump Administration is proposing deep cuts to public transportation funding to help fund its proposed $200 billion infrastructure initiative. Varga is making the case investing in public transit supports economic growth and creates jobs.

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Federal and local agencies are actively addressing the opioid crisis with a community event open to the public tonight at Grandville High School. WGVU spoke with presenters educating parents and teenagers about opioid prevention and awareness.

“This is the worst manmade epidemic known to mankind as declared by the CDC.”

Doctor Jeanne Kapenga is President of Families Against Narcotics.

“In Kent County the numbers have been increasing and we are well past the state of a crisis situation here.”

Patrick Center / WGVU

The United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Michigan held a news conference Thursday addressing the area’s opioid crisis. 

U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge explains the situation is “a matter of saving lives” pointing out that during 2017 in Kent County there were 137 drug overdose deaths – a 50-percent increase over the number reported in 2016. Across the Midwest opioid overdoses are up 70-percent during that same period.

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The 7th round of North American Free Trade Agreement talks have come to an end. One renegotiation sticking point involves automotive production and what is called the “country of origin” provision. Can U.S. demands be met? WGVU recently spoke with an automotive analyst and the Consul General of Canada to find out.

Under the rules of origin, Douglas George, Consul General of Canada explains NAFTA trade bloc partner products must contain 62.5 percent of regional content in order to qualify for no tariff.

“Which is the highest in any trade agreement in the world.”

West Michigan’s 2018 economy got off to a strong start in January and February was even better.

Traditionally, West Michigan’s economy experiences the winter blues in February. It either flattens out or slides just a bit, but not this year. Brian G. Long is director of Supply Management Research in the Seidman College of Business. He explains with the recent passage of the tax law the local economy accelerated backed by firms specializing in capital equipment or export.

Ken Lunde via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 /

Five states have enacted “Red Flag” laws also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders. The law allows law enforcement to temporarily take guns away from people a judge decides is a community threat.

As Michigan lawmakers and the governor consider gun laws a poll of Michigan voters weighs in.

Five states have enacted “Red Flag” laws; California, Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon and Washington. Will Michigan be next?

Grand Valley State University

President Donald Trump isn't budging on his international tariff stance so far despite remarkably public pleadings from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican allies to back off his threat and avoid a possible trade war.

Trump says, "We're not backing down." But he's holding open the possibility of exempting longstanding friends Canada and Mexico if they agree to better terms for the U.S. in revising the North American Free Trade Agreement.

President Donald Trump says "we're not backing down" on his push to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum despite criticism from fellow Republicans. WGVU’s Patrick Center spoke with an economics professor about those tariffs - and the potential for a trade war – and what its impact could have on Michigan consumers and industry.

“Here in Michigan we make cars. We’re good a t making cars. We make a lot of them.”

Dr. Paul Isely is currently the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

Pixabay | CC BY 2.0

In a recent poll commissioned by Michigan NORML, which is the Michigan Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, indicates a majority of state voters are in favor of legalizing marijuana.

Business Leaders for Michigan, a business roundtable of the state’s executives and university leaders, has released its latest quarterly forecast predicting the enactment of the federal tax reform bill will be benefit to Michigan’s economy. WGVU takes a look at the numbers.

A Business Leaders for Michigan survey indicates companies will increase their capital investment with 52-percent of respondents expecting their companies will do just that.