GRAND RAPIDS – Four teenagers are under
arrested for allegedly abducting and killing a Grand Rapids
According to Grand Rapids police, Willie
Jones, 66, was abducted from the parking lot at Michigan Lanes
bowling alley on Michigan Street Wednesday night. Thursday
afternoon, police discovered Jones’s body in the woods of southern
Police say one of the teens told them where
Jones was after an officer pulled them over Thursday morning.
Police searched the car and found blood in the trunk. The car
belonged to Jones.
Jones had retired from General Motors last
year. “Very laid back gentleman,” said Michigan Lanes manager Mike
Fortuna. Jones even had a plaque with his name at the bowling
alley. “He’d bowl five or six games then he’d go home. That’s what
he enjoyed doing.”
Police suspect the teens, all between 17 and
19 years of age, beat and robbed Jones as he left the bowling
alley Wednesday night and then put him in the trunk of his car and
drove him to Mecosta County, where they killed him. “We believe the motive for this incident was
robbery,” said Grand Rapids police Captain Kevin Belk. “These
individuals saw Mr. Jones in the bowling alley and, followed him
out into alley where intended to rob him.”
Police arrested three of the teens in the car
Wednesday morning. A fourth was arrested later that day. All four
are being held on felony murder charges, pending a review by the
BATTLE CREEK – A 12-year-old Battle Creek
girl was in critical condition Friday after being accidentally
shot Thursday night. The teenager who allegedly shot her turned himself in to
police Friday. Police say the shooting was accidental, but the boy
could still face charges.
The shooting happened at around 9:30 p.m. in
a home on Post Avenue near Marjorie Street. According to Battle
Creek police, the victim, her brother and a friend were playing
with a gun. They say the friend was handling the gun when it
accidentally went off, shooting the girl in the stomach.
The girl underwent surgery night at Battle
Creek Health Systems.
BATTLE CREEK - A house fire that killed a
Battle Creek woman has been ruled arson.
Penny Charameda, 38, died in the blaze at a
home on Spencer Street in Battle Creek. Charameda died of smoke
inhalation. Her death is being investigated as a murder.
Police say they have some suspects but no
arrests had been made as of Friday afternoon. Anyone with
information is asked to call silent Observer at 964-3888.
KALAMAZOO - Western Michigan University has
formed a partnership with Lake Michigan College in Benton
The plan was announced Friday by WMU
President Elson Floyd. Under the partnership, WMU will offer
credited classes in the Lake Michigan College Campus.
CASSOPOLIS - A former Cass County minister
was sentenced Friday to at least 10 year in prison for molesting a
John Charles Yeager, 54, pleaded no contest
to a sexual assault charge. Yeager is already serving an 8-20-year
term in a case involving another sex offense. The sentences will
run concurrently. In 1998, he was convicted of molesting a teenager who
knew one of his daughters.
Yeager was once a pastor at First
Congregational Church in Constantine. He also was the
administrative director at Village of Indiana, a nonprofit
organization dealing with abused and neglected children.
BIG RAPIDS - Criminal charges are possible in
the apparent drinking death of a 19-year-old Ferris State
University student, police said. According to a preliminary
autopsy, Stephen Petz died early Wednesday of alcohol poisoning.
Tests showed his blood alcohol level content was 0.42%. The legal
limit for intoxication is 0.10%.
Big Rapids Director of Public Safety Kevin
Courtney says his department is interviewing about a dozen people
believed to have been at an off-campus party where Petz was
drinking Tuesday night.
This is the third drinking-related death of
an underage drinker in Big Rapids in less than 18 months.
BENTON HARBOR - Whirlpool Corporation has
formed an organization for gay and lesbian employees and is
banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. But the Benton
Harbor-based appliance maker says it doesn’t plan to extend health and other benefits to unmarried same- or
opposite-sex partners of its workers.
According to Whirlpool chairman David
Whitwam, the company formed the group to help create broad-based
organizational diversity. The company has also formed similar
affinity groups for women and blacks.
But some Whirlpool employees are unhappy
about the gay network. Engineer Bob Ghent says he considers
homosexuality a sin. Whirlpool’s action amounts to an endorsement
of “men having sex with men and women with women.”
KALAMAZOO - A major artery in Kalamazoo will
be closed beginning Monday. Road crews will tear up part of
Oakland Drive between Kilgore Road and Parkview Avenue.
City buses will be detoured away from the
area. Traffic is expected to slow down in both directions. Drivers
are asked to find alternate routes.
KALAMAZOO - It’s as simple as filling out the
back of your drivers license, but thousands of people never think
about being an organ donor and people are dying because of it.
About 67,000 Americans are currently on the
national transplant waiting list. Dr. Sanjay Dalal, a board
certified internist and nephrologist, says most people on the
transplant list will never get one. “The average time for somebody waiting
for a transplant is five years,” he says. “For a lot of people
that is so long that it may never be possible.”
Dr. John Bernhard, former president of
Western Michigan University, has been on dialysis for over a year.
He’s almost 80-years old and at this point will never be
considered for a kidney transplant. But he hopes other “...younger
people who have a whole life ahead of them,” will be lucky enough
to receive one.
Even live donors are needed and a new less
invasive surgery makes giving a lot easier. It’s easy to become a
donor; all you do is fill out the back of your driver’s
HOLLAND (AP) – Holland-based office furniture
is getting kudos for its environmental efforts. The honors are
coming from the company’s biggest customer—the federal
The U.S. General Services Administration gave
Haworth its 1999 “Evergreen Award” for environmental stewardship.
The award is presented annually to two manufacturers nationwide.
It recognizes and encourages environmental practices to companies
who supply the federal government.
Zeeland-based Herman Miller received the
government’s first-ever Evergreen Award last year. Herman Miller
also makes office