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My Town Kalamazoo: WMU teams' plans could save bankrupt Detroit millions of dollars

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU teams' plans could save bankrupt Detroit millions of dollars

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Two teams from Western Michigan University have come up with plans that could save bankrupt Detroit nearly $2 million a year.

Since early May, students, alumni and a faculty advisor with WMU’s integrated supply management program have been working on cost-cutting measures for two city transportation facilities that house city buses and emergency vehicles. The teams worked with city personnel at the Russell-Ferry and Shoemaker Terminal garages to create lean systems to improve the city’s budget outlook. 

"When the call for expertise in the area of lean consulting came from the city of Detroit, we knew that our students and alumni could provide the necessary talent and teamwork to help the city," says Ken Jones, director of executive education and instructor of integrated supply management at WMU.

My Town Kalamazoo: KIA names new executive director

My Town Kalamazoo: KIA names new executive director


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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – After 15 years as director of the renowned Diggs Gallery, one of the nation’s top African American art galleries, Belinda Ann Tate is coming to Kalamazoo as the new executive director of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

Tate was the top choice in a national search to succeed James Bridenstine, who announced last year he would retire in 2014 after 24 years. Tate will join the KIA on Sept. 8.

“Kalamazoo has a stellar reputation for supporting the arts and the KIA. I’m eager to build on that support, especially as KIA celebrates its 90th birthday. It’s a privilege to become part of this outstanding institute and the West Michigan arts community,” Tate said.

My Town: WMU engineers create helmet device to detect concussions

My Town: WMU engineers create helmet device to detect concussions

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—In a time when concussions in football continue to make headlines, students at Western Michigan University have created a device to help detect head injuries.

SafeSense is installed in a football helmet to monitor hits to the head.  Student engineers designed the pressure sensor using printed electronics on a flexible organic plastic material that covers the inside of a helmet.  The sensor collects data on when, where and severity of a hit.  The information is then sent to a smartphone.  The helmet’s impact history can then be stored on a cloud-based server.

Man gets 40 years in prison on child pornography conviction

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) - A Kalamazoo man who asked three girls to send him nude photos of themselves last summer was sentenced today to 40 years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Janet Neff sentenced Derik Eugene Rothrock to the maximum term available, based on a prior conviction of sexually assaulting a minor.

Federal authorities in January charged Rothrock with sending text messages to girls aged 12, 14 and 15, asking that they send him sexually explicit images of themselves.

The 15-year-old girl sent Rothrock sexually explicit photos of herself, court records show. He was also charged with sexual exploitation of a child for taking photos of a nude 14-year-old girl.

In a text message to the 12-year-old girl, Rothrock wrote "U R cute . . . can I get some pics of u?'' according to federal court documents.

Kzoo police catch teen with concealed gun

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Public safety officers say they caught a 15-year-old boy with a handgun concealed in his waistband in a Kalamazoo neighborhood dealing with an increase in violence.

Officers received a call around 9:45 p.m. Thursday about a young make carrying a gun in the Edison Neighborhood. When they arrived near the intersection of Washington Avenue and James Street, they saw a teenager matching the suspect's description walking onto the front porch of a home.

The teenager tried running into the house when officers approached to speak with him. They caught him just inside the door and found a .22 caliber handgun in his waistband.

Investigators say the house the 15-year-old tried running into was not his, and the people inside had no association with him.

My Town: Surveillance images of bank robbery suspect released

My Town: Surveillance images of bank robbery suspect released

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Kalamazoo County deputies are releasing surveillance images of a bank robbery suspect, in hopes of making an arrest.

The crime happened just before noon Tuesday at the Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union at 5067 Gull Road in Comstock Township.  Investigators say the man walked into the bank, flashed a silver handgun and forced the employees into the vault and broom closet.    The man ran away with an undisclosed amount of money.  A tracking dog could not pick up his scent.

The man is described as 5’8”, 150 pounds between the ages of 20 years and 40 years.  He was last seen wearing a black wig in a bun style, a light brown hat, dark wire rim tinted glasses, an olive green and cream colored shirt, khaki pants and dark colored shoes.  He was also carrying a black lap top bag.

My Town: Kalamazoo man killed in shooting identified

My Town: Kalamazoo man killed in shooting identified

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Kalamazoo Public Safety officers are releasing the name of a Kalamazoo man killed in a Sunday night shooting.

Officers say 30-year-old Orlando David Walker arrived at Bronson Hospital with a gunshot wound to his chest a short time after gunfire was reported in the area of 1000 N. Church. Walker died a short time later.

Officers found a second man at the crime scene with gunshot wounds to his leg. So far, no suspects have been arrested.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting are still under investigation. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Kalamazoo Public Safety at (269) 337-8994 or Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100.