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Santa to boy with autism: 'OK to be who he is'


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The story of a West Michigan boy's meeting with Santa is making thousands of people smile -- and shed a tear or two -- this Monday on Facebook.

Naomi Johnson's son, Landon, and his cousins recently went to visit Santa at RiverTown Crossings Mall. Her son "said his piece" to Santa, but it's a second encounter garnering reactions to the social media post.

Related: 
'Happy Birthday Mandy': 'Kindness' on a Meijer cake​

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Jo-Ann Fabrics offers craft classes for the holidays


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Jo-Ann Fabrics is helping West Michigan create hand-crafted gifts this holiday season by offering crafting classes.

Classes are offered both in store, and online. There are also many craft ideas available.

You can learn more about the classes offered both in store, and online by visiting the Jo-Ann Fabrics website.


Todd Wenzel Automotive expands with new dealership

Todd Wenzel Automotive expands with new dealership

Todd Wenzel Automotive Group announces the acquisition of their fourth Michigan GM dealership, Red Holman Buick GMC in Westland. This purchase represents the third Buick GMC dealership for Todd Wenzel. The first, located in Grand Rapids, was obtained in 2001 followed by a Chevrolet franchise in Hudsonville in 2004 and a second Buick GMC dealership in Davison in 2014.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Westland and Metro Detroit communities,” said Todd Wenzel, “We look forward to maintaining the excellent reputation the team at Red Holman has built.”

Man could soon be charged for wrong way crash


HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A man could soon face charges for a serious wrong-way crash on the night of Thanksgiving.

It happened around 10 p.m. Thursday on I-196 just west of the Hudsonville city limits. Before the crash, drivers had reported a man driving a van in the wrong direction.

Investigators say he nearly hit a deputy before crashing into a 2006 Toyota driven by 55-year-old Thi Pham of Kentwood.

Pham was taken to the hospital by ambulance in serious condition. A passenger, 42-year-old Thao Vo of Kentwood, was also take to the hospital with less severe injuries.

The wrong way driver's name has not been released. Deputies say he could be facing charges for "Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Injury" once his lab results come back.

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Local church serves Thanksgiving meal to refugee youth


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Bethany Christian Services teamed up with Harbor Life Church to celebrate Thanksgiving with refugee youth in Grand Rapids. More than 15 volunteers gathered at an independent living home to cook a meal and decorate the house.

"They were interested in connecting the church to our refugee community," said Rhonda Fitzsimmons, a community engagement supervisor with Bethany Christian Services. "We have an awesome community, they step up all the time."

"This was a really cool opportunity for us to actively be Christ to these young men," said Anna Childress, a church member at Harbor Life Church. "For us to just go out to and show them that we are excited that they are here, to be the community that greets them and to just engage with them."

There are currently four young men living in the house, six others will soon join them.

Boy's father 'expected' distracted driver's guilty plea


HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man involved in a deadly distracted driving crash has decided to change his plea.  

Travis Fox of Indiana was charged in the crash that killed 13-year-old David Talsma over the summer. Last month, he pleaded not guilty to those charges, but he has now told a judge he wants to plead guilty instead.

Fox has admitted to eating and checking his GPS when he smashed into the minivan carrying Talsma.

WZZM 13 spoke to Talsma's father about the plea and about Michigan's distracted driving laws.

"From what they’ve all told me, it’s something to be expected," said Jason Talsma, David's father. "No surprises."

It's hard to be surprised for a father who had the worst shock of his life just a few months ago. 

"Thoughts of David will come up," said Talsma. 

Taste of My Town: Rush Creek Bistro


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's not always easy to put together a holiday meal for your family. And if you're thinking of passing on the cooking and cleaning this year, there are a number of places that will take care of that home-cooked style meal for you.

One such place is Rush Creek Bistro in Grandville. They offer a Thanksgiving buffet and managers say they love being a part of those precious family moments you'll remember forever.

They also have an eclectic menu offering great selection on any other day of the year. It includes everything from sandwiches to salads, even pizza and steak. This place prides itself on offering something for everyone.