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Grand Rapids philanthropist Helen DeVos died October 18th at age 90. She was the wife of Amway co-founder Rich DeVos. WGVU explores her philanthropic spirit and its lasting impact.

“It’s really the loss of a philanthropic icon for Grand Rapids.”

Kyle Caldwell is executive director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. He does his best to describe the philanthropic impact Helen DeVos had on the region.

Grand Valley mourns supporter Helen DeVos

Oct 19, 2017

Grand Valley State University has released a statement regarding the passing of Helen DeVos:

The Grand Valley State University community is mourning the death of Helen DeVos, one of the university’s most steadfast supporters. The wife of Amway co-founder Rich DeVos died October 18, at age 90.

Helen DeVos was a dedicated philanthropist whose lifetime of giving has made a significant impact on West Michigan and beyond. Her generosity and love for helping others have enhanced the community greatly, especially in the areas of education, music, the arts and health care.

A man has been charged after fleeing a high-speed crash that killed a woman and critically injured her 5-year-old twin boys in the Grand Rapids area. Douglas Crystal was arraigned Monday on four charges, including reckless driving that caused a death. The Kent County sheriff's department says 33-year-old Meranda Baguss of Sand Lake was killed Friday night when Crystal's pickup smashed into her vehicle at a rural intersection in Courtland Township. Her sons are in critical condition. 

Daniel Boothe

Family, friends and fellow lawmakers gathered in Grand Rapids to honor the life and mourn the passing of former U.S. Representative Vern Ehlers at the Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. Ehlers served as the representative of Michigan's Third District for nearly two decades, from 1993 until January 2011. Prior to his career in Congress, Ehlers served four terms as a Kent County Board Commissioner, spent two years serving in Michigan’s House and eight years in the state Senate. 

Charge filed in death of a Michigan fire chief along I-94

Aug 23, 2017

A 24-year-old man has been charged with reckless driving in the death of a fire chief who was struck and killed in June while responding to a crash in southwestern Michigan. Brandon Clevenger of Springfield was charged Tuesday with reckless driving causing death.

Ed Switalski was hit while on Interstate 94. He served as chief of Comstock Township Fire and Rescue for four years. The 55-year-old Switalski worked at the Kalamazoo-area department after more than three decades at the Pleasantview Fire District in suburban Chicago. Clevenger hasn't appeared in court.

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Police say a 21-year-old man apparently drowned in a closed public pool after he jumped a fence at a western Michigan park to get inside.

The Grand Rapids Police Department says the man was part of a group of men who jumped the fence at Richmond Park.

Police responded after getting a call before 6 a.m. Tuesday that the man was unresponsive. Officers pulled him out of the pool and he was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the pool hadn't been scheduled to open until around midday Tuesday. It has been closed until further notice.

Man, 20, gets life for slaying on Grand Rapids campus

Aug 17, 2017

A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing a 34-year-old homeless woman on a western Michigan college campus. Marcus Bivins learned his sentence Wednesday after being found guilty of first-degree murder last month in the April 2016 death of 34-year-old Jeanne Huntoon of Muskegon.

Authorities say a 46-year-old man accidentally set himself on fire while trying to exterminate bees in an underground hive in southwestern Michigan. The Cass County sheriff's department says a neighbor was able to put out the fire by the time authorities arrived Wednesday at the injured man's home in the Dowagiac area, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Detroit. 

The man was airlifted to a hospital in Kalamazoo for treatment. Details about his condition weren't immediately released.

The accident is under investigation.

Authorities have released the name of a 45-year-old man who died after a tire on a large front-end loader apparently exploded in southwestern Michigan. The explosion was reported Tuesday at a business in Kalamazoo. Workers say he had been using the front-end loader to move wooden industrial pallets. The sound of the explosion was heard throughout the area. 

Authorities say a 45-year-old man has died after a tire on a large front-end loader apparently exploded in southwestern Michigan.

 The explosion was reported Tuesday at a business in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that workers say he had been using the front-end loader to move wooden industrial pallets. WWMT-TV reports the sound of the explosion was heard throughout the area. Police say they found the man with severe traumatic injuries and attempts to save him were unsuccessful. His name wasn't immediately released. The death is under investigation. 

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