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Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates are travelling the state seeking support. With the election more than a year away democrat Gretchen Whitmer is visiting Allegan and Grand Rapids Saturday. WGVU spoke with Whitmer about her message.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park annually generates more than $75 million in Kent County. WGVU breaks down the economic impact study with one of its authors from Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business.

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency / Michigan.gov

Michigan is starting a major revamp of how nursing care is provided to veterans, with plans to ultimately transition from two homes in the western and far-northern regions to seven new, smaller ones spread across the state.

The initiative is billed as the most substantial change to the system since the first veterans home opened in Grand Rapids 131 years ago.

It stems from new, bipartisan state laws that officials say will lead to higher-quality care for more veterans.

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Michigan’s gubernatorial election is more than a year away, but the half-dozen or more candidates are traveling the state trying to earn your support. One of the democratic candidates visited Grand Rapids over the weekend.

ArtPrize / artprize.org

An international art competition in western Michigan has announced that it's changing its voting structure as it gears up for its ninth year.

ArtPrize held its annual Premiere Event on Thursday to prepare for ArtPrize Nine's Sept. 20 kickoff.

Jaenell Woods, the organization's communications manager, says voting is done in two rounds.

The first narrows the entries down to 20 chosen by the public and 20 by an expert jury.

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Grand Rapids Police Department / grcity.us

Police have arrested three demonstrators after a Grand Rapids protest against federal immigration policy blocked traffic.

MLive reports about 40 people participated in the protest Thursday that at one point blocked traffic near the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building in downtown Grand Rapids.

Police say that after issuing several warnings, they arrested two men aged 64 and 40 and a 49-year-old woman for impeding traffic and resisting and obstructing.

They say the remaining protesters continued to a nearby plaza without further incident.

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A judge ignored the terms of a plea agreement and sentenced a former FBI agent to jail for shooting at a police officer outside a Michigan fitness club.

Judge Dennis Leiber told 35-year-old Ruben Hernandez of North Las Vegas, Nevada, that anyone who shoots at a law enforcement officer is going to jail. He sentenced Hernandez Thursday to 135 days.

Hernandez pleaded no contest to felonious assault. A no-contest plea isn't an admission of guilt, but is treated as one in sentencing.

Prosecutors recommended no jail time.

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Grand Rapids Police Department / grcity.us

The results of a 2017 race-based traffic stops study will be presented to the public and the Grand Rapids Police Department in upcoming town hall meetings.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Lamberth Consulting Inc., an independent group, will share its methods and findings from the $157,000 study next week during four community meetings.

The study assesses if there's a disparity against minorities in traffic stops by determining if Grand Rapids officers unreasonably stop more minorities than others.

Shafer Photography / Shafer Photography

Grand Rapids has a new poet laureate! The Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation announced today that Marcel Price, better known as Fable the Poet, will be our new ambassador of letters. However, more interesting is that he is the first laureate of color, the first one under age 40 and the first one without a college degree. Yet, his career speaks for itself, as he tours the country regularly with his poems. For WGVU’s Mutually Inclusive, Mariano Avila brings us this extended interview with Fable.

MA:

Shafer Photography / Shafer Photography

The new Grand Rapids Poet Laureate is the first person of color, first person under forty years of age, and the first laureate without a four-year degree.

The Grand Rapids Public Library made its announcement Tuesday morning naming Marcel Price, or Fable, the city’s poet laureate, not just because he’s published a book of poems or won awards, but because of his vision for bringing poetry to everyone in Grand Rapids.  

“There’s poetry shows almost every single night of the week in our city and people don’t know that.”

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