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Racial slur painted on Grandville church


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) - A racial slur was spray-painted this week on the rear door of a Grandville church whose members are largely black.

The N-word was painted on the back of the One Church Empowerment Center at 3075 30th St. SW. The church has been there about two and a half years. it was formed after moving from Lake Drive in Grand Rapids, where it was known as the Bethel Abundant Life Center.

Pastor Jathan Austin Wednesday said the congregation's experience has been "incredible" since moving in. After seeing the N-word Tuesday, he said he was disappointed. "It just heightens the awareness that we've got a long road still ahead of us - it just shows us that our work is not done."

Castle proposed for vacant Grandville mobile home park


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Another West Michigan developer has big dreams for an old mobile home park near 28th Street and I-196.

The property has been vacant for 10 years after the former LaGrande Mobile Home Park closed.

Now Roger Lucas with Land and Company has proposed the Grand Castle for the site. Based on a Bavarian castle, the development would feature a 12-story apartment tower, complete with castle turrets.

Eventually, 13 two-story carriage houses would be built around the larger structure as a second phase to the development.

The Grandville City Council will consider the idea next month.

Anti-gay shop owner's forum draws protests


JENISON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grandville business owner who says he would not serve openly gay customers drew more controversy Thursday evening, this time in Jenison at the school district's fine arts center.

Dieseltec owner Brian Klawiter organized a town hall meeting which he said wasn't just about homosexuality and his views on gay marriage, but about god, morality, and his view of the state of the union.

The event drew demonstrations from several groups in the area, including local churches. Demonstrators said they weren't so much protesting the town hall meeting but presenting additional viewpoints. There were at least as many demonstrators outside and inside the fine arts center as there were people who came to support and endorse Klawiter's conservative views.

Three hurt after child shifts parked van into neutral


GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two teenagers and a child are hospitalized after an unusual crash in Ottawa County Wednesday. It happened near Bass Creek and Baldwin Street.

Investigators say a six-year-old boy got inside a van parked in the driveway. He shifted the van into neutral, and it started rolling away towards Baldwin Street.

A 16-year old family member ran to the van, but could not stop it.

A driver headed west on Baldwin crashed into the van, injuring her 15-year-old passenger, who's in stable condition.

The boy and the 16-year old had minor injuries.


Boy with autism wins field day marathon thanks to classmates' plan


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Grandville fifth-grader won his elementary school's biggest field day event, thanks to a compassionate surprise from his classmates.

Preston Lillis, 10, has a form of autism. Tim and Jill Lillis, Preston's parents, learned Preston had Asperger's syndrome when he was in second grade.

Being involved in the school's field day events, at the end of each year, always caused Preston to have anxiety, and he never was able to perform at the same level as most of his classmates.

This year, his Grandville South Elementary classmates conjured up a plan to make sure Preston had the best day of his young life.

1 hurt in Grandville crash


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- It took crews about half an hour to free a person after a car crash at the intersection of Sanford and 28th Street in Grandville Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators say a driver on Sanford pulled into the path of a pickup truck on 28th St. A passenger in the car said the truck turned into their path.

Crews had to cut the driver out of the car. Police say that person went to the hospital with serious injuries.


Man charged with DUI in deadly I-196 crash


GEORGETOWN TWP. Mich (WZZM) -- A Lakeview man was charged Tuesday in a suspected drunk-driving crash that killed a man Saturday afternoon on I-196. The crash happened Saturday in the eastbound lanes near M-6.

Ottawa County Sheriff's deputies say a 2013 Ford C-Max was parked on the shoulder with a flat tire, well off the highway. A Chevy Tahoe, driven by Richard Rish, 46, rear-ended the car, causing both to hit the guardrail and cross back into traffic.

A third vehicle was unable to avoid the crash and hit the Tahoe.