Suspect on trial for year old killing

The Kent County Circuit Court trial is underway for the man accused of beating and shooting to death a West Michigan Businessman more than a year ago. 37-year-old Danyell Thomas is charged with felony murder in the death of John Dahlinger. The 54-year-old Dahlinger was found beaten and shot to death in 2013. Prosecutors say Thomas plotted with a prostitute to drug and rob Dahlinger. Thomas faces mandatory life in prison if convicted.

Former Kent County Commissioner sentenced

A former Kent County Commissioner will be spending the next year in jail for taking kickbacks. Officials say 44-year-old Michael Wawee Jr. was sentenced to serve one year in jail and pay $214,000 in restitution after pleading no contest to embezzlement from a charitable organization and attempted false pretenses. Prosecutors say Wawee took kickbacks from cemetery headstone engravers while he was an employee of the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Kent County prosecutor appeals pot law

The Kent County prosecutor is defying the will of the voters and is taking an appeal of the decision to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana to the Michigan Appeals Court this week. Prosecutor Bill Forsyth says Grand Rapids voters may not decide to ignore state law. By a margin of 60% city voters decided to back off on marijuana enforcement in 2012.

False alam Ebola case in Kent County as patient is believed to have Dengue Fever

Officials with Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids and Kent County were quick to deny the presence of an Ebola case after a patient showed up at the hospital last week with suspected Ebola symptoms following a recent trip to West Africa. The hospital isolated the patient and contacted hospital administrators and the Kent County Health Department. It was later learned that the patient had traveled to an island off the coast of West Africa, an area not impacted by the outbreak of the Ebola virus, and did not meet the criteria for the Ebola.

Grandville woman died of drowning according to Medical Examiner

Kent County's medical examiner says a Grandville woman found dead in the Grand River last month drowned. Mary Tornga was reported missing after an argument with her husband on April 14. She got out of their car along I-196 near Market and vanished. Kayakers found her body a few days later. WOOD-TV reports the medical examiner found the 51-year old Tornga's blood-alcohol level when she died was above .20. (MRN)

Cedar Springs man accused of multiple break-ins around Montcalm Co.

A Kent County man is in Montcalm County Jail accused of breaking into multiple homes dating back to October. Police say 25-year old Keith Ames of Cedar Springs is suspected of breaking to six homes in Pierson and Reynolds Township as well as additional thefts in neighboring Counties. He's being held on $15,000 bond.

Black bear spotted for 3rd time in Kent Co.

For the third time this week a black bear has been spotted in West Michigan. The latest sighting was Thursday in Kent County's Plainfield Township. A black bear was also spotted in Greenville and Lowell earlier this week. Department Of Natural Resources Wildlife officials recommended people remove food sources from their property. Image by Michael Elliott

Brother and sister stand trial in "Road Rage" death of Grand Rapids man

The brother and sister accused in the road rage death of a Grand Rapids man last month will stand trial. A Kent County judge Wednesday bound over 24-year old Jeanette Davis to circuit court following her preliminary exam on charges of second-degree murder and felony firearm. She is being held on a $1 million bond and faces up to life in prison if convicted on the murder charge. Her 20-year old brother Jountay Davis waived his preliminary exam for being an accessory after the fact to a second-degree murder, and a second-time habitual offender.

20-year old woman dies in Kent Co. fire; Suspect arrested

A 62-year old West-Michigan man is behind bars on charges that he started a house fire early Monday morning that killed a 20-year-old woman. Michael Piranian is being held in the Kent County Jail on a felony homicide warrant. According to reports, the blaze began at the home in Sparta Township after Piranian allegedly assaulted another woman. There were five people in the house at the time. The victim, identified as Kori Vanhulle of Kingsley, apparently had been sleeping in the basement was trapped and called 911 for help, but firefighters could not reach her in time.

West Michigan city sets world record

Rockford is going into the Guinness Book of World Records. Organizers of this past weekend's Ice Festival say the West Michigan city set a record for the longest ice cream bar, at nearly 353 feet. Hundreds of people enjoyed free ice cream sundaes as part of the record attempt. Attendance counts from the Ice Festival are still being tallied, but organizers expect to have set a record for the number of visitors to the Ice-Carving Showcase and Competition. (MRN)


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