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Kent Co. Sheriff Dept. cuts ribbon on indoor equestrian center

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County now has a new arena where sheriff deputies can train on horses.

County leaders cut the ribbon Tuesday on the 20,000-square-foot indoor equestrian training center in the 4600 block of Kroes St. NE.

The arena is also being used by local 4-H groups, as well as local school riding teams.

The center will provide a place for training the sheriff department's mounted unit, even during the winter months.

"Horses need to be trained constantly," said Sheriff Larry Stelma. "Weekly, they have to be exercised, they have to be ridden -- or they soon forget what they're supposed to be doing. The riders need to practice continually to remain proficient. So, they need to train 12 months out of the year. This facility allows them to do that."

Titanium Triathlon called after several lightning strikes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Nearly 700 athletes started to compete in Michigan's fourth annual Titanium Triathlon Sunday in Plainfield Township. Unfortunately for most of them, they never got to finish.

The event was called off after several lightning strikes in the area.

Race co-director Ann Vidro tells us only the Olympic distance athletes were able to finish. The Olympic distance is a 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run.

Vidro says it was especially hard to call the race with so many special stories competing this year.

Among the race competitors was Kalamazoo native Scott Lacey, 31. Lacey is legally blind. He would have been accompanied by guides during the 2.4 mile swim and marathon, and ride tandem for the 112 mile stretch along Northland Drive.

"It has become more of a challenge against myself," Lacey said.

Gunmen rob customer in grocery store parking lot

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Kent County Sheriff Department's investigating an armed robbery at the Plainfield Ave. Meijer store early Thursday morning.

Deputies say two men pulled guns on a woman as she put groceries in her car just before 1 a.m. They took her money and ran. A canine track failed to find them.

Investigators describe the first suspect as black, about 6' and skinny, with facial hair and a small afro, wearing a blue shirt and dark pants. He carried a black long gun.

They describe the other suspect as black, about 6' and skinny, with a shaved head, wearing a white shirt and black shorts. He had a black handgun.

Deputies say they're checking with local police departments to see if other armed robberies overnight are related. That same night saw armed robberies at gas stations in Walker, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo County's Comstock Township.

Police: Four teens caught stealing from unlocked cars

BELMONT, Mich (WZZM) -- Four teens from Cedar Springs have been turned over to their parents as police investigate their suspected roles in a string of car larcenies since the beginning of June. In total, more than 50 cars have been targeted.

"We noticed a kid kinda playing with his hair around one of the coworkers' vehicles, and then he randomly tried the door. After about 10 seconds, he went over to another door, tried that, and it was also locked," said Belmont's Phillip Wall, an assessing clerk with Plainfield Township. He was chatting with his boss Monday morning when he said they saw two teens pretending to preen themselves in the car windows outside.

"One of his friends came from around the corner, he tried the door next to my boss's car, and then eventually opened her car door," said Wall.

She yelled out the window for the boys to stop while Wall ran after them.

LPGA Meijer Classic back at Blythefield Country Club

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The LPGA is back in Grand Rapids.

The 2nd edition of the Meijer Classic presented by Kraft is about to get underway at Blythefield Country Club. 144 of the world's best female golfers will compete for a share of the $2 million purse.

And good as it was last year, tournament organizers say it will be even better for spectators this year.

"We learned a lot last year," explains tournament director Andy Bush. "Turnout was greater than we expected.
We've invested a lot in creating areas for our general spectators to have their own shaded and covered viewing decks throughout the golf course. We want to up the experience for the general ticket holder."

Financial woes mount for Plainfield Township supervisor

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Already embroiled in bankruptcy, Plainfield Township's top elected official is now contesting a $540,000 judgment entered against him in Kent County Circuit Court.

Plainfield Township Supervisor Jay Spencer this month filed an appeal to the financial judgment against him, calling it "inaccurate.''

The judgment was awarded last month to Jolan Jackson, a Grandville man who invested $241,000 for a real estate deal Spencer was overseeing. The money came from Jackson's pension; he retired from General Motors in 2008.

The money was supposed to be used to buy and fix up six properties, including five in Grand Rapids, court records show.

Reed Kamyszek competes in his First Professional 15k Race

Reed Kamyszek competes in his First Professional 15k Race

Orange alums shine at local race!