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My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—With spring break fast approaching, many West Michigan families are fine-tuning their travel plans—and so are thieves.

Most West Michigan schools will be out of session April 3-10, so families can take a vacation.  East Grand Rapids Public Safety Director Mark Herald says this is the time homeowners need to step up safety measures.  Herald shares seven ways to make your home less attractive to thieves:

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WMU aviation dean foresees pilot psychological testing


BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WZZM) -- The dean of Western Michigan University's College of Aviation says future pilot training may include psychological testing.

Captain Dave Powell, who retired as a United Airlines chief pilot before coming to WMU seven years ago said Thursday, "We're always evaluating how we train, so is this something that's going to have to be evaluated? I'm absolutely convinced it will be."

Powell notes since 9/11, U.S. airlines have required two people be in the cockpit at all times. That's not true in Europe, but Powell says it's no guarantee that safety is 100 percent assured.

"Saying the co-pilot didn't let the captain back in can that happen? Absolutely. Could it happen here in America? Absolutely."


My Town Kalamazoo: Contents of historic building up for bid

My Town Kalamazoo: Contents of historic building up for bid

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Now is your chance to own a piece of Kalamazoo history.

From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 26, the contents of the former PNC Bank building will be up for bid online.  The building is more than a century old.  Peregrine Realty purchased the facility last fall with plans to convert it into a mixed use, commercial and retail property.  A variety of items from inside the building will be on auction on biddergy.com Thursday, including solid wood furniture, décor, file cabinets, safes and chandeliers.

Interested bidders can check out the items for sale during a pre-auction inspection Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The building is located at 108 E. Michigan Ave.

Bell's or Founders? Craft beer bracket showdown looms


(Detroit Free Press) -- Part of the fun of NCAA tournament time is voting in all the zany custom brackets that websites put out each March.

Here's one you might be interested in: For The Win's craft beer bracket, which started Monday with 32 of the best breweries in America and has moved on to the Sweet 16.

Two major Michigan breweries are still in the running: Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo and Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids. Not only are they the top two seeds, but they're on pace to face off in the Elite Eight on Wednesday.

As of about 2 Tuesday afternoon, Bell's is beating Boulevard Brewing Co. from Kansas City at a 73%-27% clip, while Founders is ahead of Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland at 68%-32%.

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Sign of spring: bars celebrate annual release of Oberon


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Monday, March 23, is the day people in West Michigan and many other parts of the country wait for all winter -- the day Bell's Brewery releases its Oberon Ale.

The seasonal beer is a top seller for the Kalamazoo County-based company and one of the most popular craft beers in the Midwest.

Many West Michigan bars are holding release parties Monday to mark the occasion; it's a day affectionately known as Oberon Day.

In Michigan, Bell's makes Oberon available from the end of March through Labor Day. Many beer lovers call it the perfect summer beer.

Visit the Bell's Brewery website for a list of launch parties and events across Michigan.


My Town: 3 ways to inspire your online learner

My Town: 3 ways to inspire your online learner

Whether learning online or in a traditional classroom, keeping your student motivated is important—it offers the opportunity for innovation and powerful learning experiences.

Alexandra Negrete, a teacher at statewide virtual public high school Great Lakes Cyber Academy, shares three tips to help challenge students to reach their highest potential.

Michigan virtual school hosts informational events throughout March

Michigan virtual school hosts informational events throughout March

OKEMOS, Mich.-- As families continue to seek school options featuring greater flexibility and control for their children’s education, one of Michigan’s statewide virtual schools – Michigan Connections Academy – has scheduled a variety of information events throughout March.

Interested families are encouraged to attend upcoming events to learn more about how virtual learning works, meet teachers and familiarize themselves with the schools’ award-winning curriculum.