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Kalamazoo doctor: Chance of Ebola outbreak gripping U.S. is slim

Kalamazoo doctor: Chance of Ebola outbreak gripping U.S. is slim

KALAMAZOO, Mich.— The Ebola virus has claimed more than 1,200 lives in West Africa, but at least one West Michigan doctor says there is little chance the outbreak will take hold in the United States.

"We are monitoring pretty darned carefully if the people coming into the United States from these countries, where this virus is prevalent, whether they have a fever or not," Essani says. "So we really have some idea. But this is biology and there will always be exceptions to it. I do expect the number of cases to go up, there's no doubt about it. So we are going to see these sporadic cases around the globe. But I don't think it will acquire an epidemic form as it has in Africa," says Dr. Karim Essani, virologist and professor of biological sciences at Western Michigan University.

 Essani says Ebola is more difficult to spread than other viruses, like flu.

My Town: Cooley Law and WMU announce affiliation agreement

My Town: Cooley Law and WMU announce affiliation agreement

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Cooley Law School has a new name and partnership.

Leaders of the nonprofit law school joined those from Western Michigan University this week to announce they reached an affiliation agreement.  Under the deal, Cooley Law School will now be known as the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  The name change applies to all Cooley campuses in Michigan, including Lansing, Grand Rapids, Auburn Hills and Ann Arbor.  Cooley and WMU will maintain separate governments and finances.

As part of the new partnership, WMU Cooley Law will offer first-year law classes on Western’s Kalamazoo campus this fall.  Faculty at both schools are also developing a law minor and a 3+3 program at WMU that will allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree and a law degree in six years.  Tuition to both schools will not change because of the affiliation.

Kalamazoo man gives up after 90 minute standoff

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police say a man in their custody is facing numerous charges after an overnight standoff.

It started around 9:50 p.m. Thursday, when officers responded to Douglas Avenue between Paterson and Kalamazoo streets on a report about a man with a gun. Witnesses told them a man had threatened to shoot someone, then went into his apartment.

It took 90 minutes of negotiations to get the man to surrender and hand over his gun, a .38 caliber revolver.

The 44-year-old man is facing weapons and resisting arrest charges.

School rankings show districts' points of pride, areas for improvement


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan's annual school accountability scorecards are out.


The report ranks schools according to factors like attendance and how well they meet goals set by the state's education department.


Schools that fall in the bottom five percent of the rankings are considered "priority" schools and are placed under the supervision of Michigan's school reform officer. There are 138 schools identified as "priority" schools. Nearly half of them are on that list for the fist time.


At least two West Michigan districts with priority schools also have schools among the state's top performers: Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Heights Public Schools.


Missing Van Buren co. woman found

GENEVA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Authorities say a Van Buren County woman who has been missing for more than a week is safe, but not ready to return home.

The Sheriff's Office says Robin Renee Shepherd, 43, disappeared on Monday, August 4, around 2 p.m., after she was released from Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. Investigators say Shepherd spoke to her husband around noon that day and gave no indication that she was to be released. Her family members had not seen her or heard from her since then.

Someone watching the news contacted Van Buren County deputies late Wednesday night, reporting Shepherd's location in the Kalamazoo area. Investigators say Shepherd was in good health and in a safe location, but did not want to return home for personal reasons. Deputies shared this information with her family.

Police find missing Kalamazoo Alzheimer's patient

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police have found a missing Alzheimer's Disease patient who wandered away from home.

Leslie Dodson, 77, left his home in the Winchell neighborhood around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators say Dodson had done this in the past, but had always been located quickly.

Officers used a police dog in hopes of tracking him late Tuesday night, but that was unsuccessful.

Investigators say a neighbor found Dodson lying on his back porch around 6:10 a.m. Wednesday. They say he had a few bumps and scrapes, but was otherwise in good physical shape.

Man accused of brandishing gun, fighting with police

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police have arrested a Kalamazoo man who they say brandished a handgun and fought with them Tuesday evening.

Officers were responding to a report about that man brandishing the weapon around 7:30pm, and they confronted him on Cameron Street near Lay Boulevard.

They say he immediately reached for the gun and started to fight. Officers subdued him, recovered the loaded gun, and took him into custody.

He was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, resisting/obstructing, and on several warrants. Police haven't yet publicly identified the 23-year-old man.