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Stuffed animals donated for kids at Mercy Health in Muskegon

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Children hospitalized at Mercy Health in Muskegon will now have the comfort of a stuffed animal.

Starting last month, PetSmart collected more than 1,300 stuffed animals and on Tuesday delivered them to Mercy Health.

Hospital workers say simple things like a stuffed animal help children relax during a time that is often scary.

"When they are having a tough time at the hospital they will get a cute stuffy to squeeze, so they feel comfort and warmth, and they are really soft," said Tonya Phillips with the Muskegon PetSmart.

"Having that stuffed animal is so critical," said Mercy Health's Holly Alway. "It gives them just a little piece of comfort. Hopefully to distract them off what has brought them to the E.R. in the first place."

The hospital treats more than 22,000 children each year.

MCC classes canceled after bomb threat

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Muskegon Community College administrators cancelled classes Monday morning after the discovery of a written bomb threat in a note found in Grand Haven.

School leaders say they didn't have a choice but to clear campus.

"We just thought we would err on the side of caution," said MCC Vice President of Student Services and Administration Johnnie Selmon after the written bomb threat was found in the MCC portion of the Grand Haven Community Center. The note didn't specify which MCC campus was threatened, so classes were canceled in Grand Haven, Fremont, and in Muskegon. "Safety and security is one of the biggest responsibilities we have here at this institution, and so when we get something like a bomb threat, we are going to take it seriously."

Arrest made in Muskegon Heights shooting

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) -- An arrest has been made in connection to a shooting earlier this week in Muskegon Heights.

James Larnell Black was arrested Thursday and faces four felony charges, including assault with a dangerous weapon. The 18-year-old is also being charged as a habitual offender.

He's accused of shooting at a car on Peck Street in Muskegon Heights around noon on Monday. A 19-year-old was hit in the arm. That victim was treated at a hospital and released.

Police found Black Thursday night, hiding on a back porch of a home on Park Street.


Muskegon Rescue Mission collecting turkeys

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Thanksgiving is almost here and the Muskegon Rescue Mission hopes to collect 1, 000 turkeys for its annual holiday feast.

They will be collecting turkeys Friday at the Cinema Carousel on Old Grand Haven Road until 6 p.m. Those turkeys will be served on Sunday at the mission's feast.

The Sunday feast will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Muskegon High School.

The mission's food basket giveaway is on Monday and Tuesday of next week. On Thursday, the mission hosts a Thanksgiving meal.

West Michigan braces for snowy weather

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Drivers going south on US-31 Thursday were staring into the bright sun. On Friday, the clear blue sky over Muskegon County is expected to turn gray and bring snowfall to the lakeshore.

Eric Scott is with the Muskegon County Road Commission and says they have plenty of road salt ready to mix with sand and drop on the roads.

Road commission workers start hooking blades and plow wings to trucks in October. Now, the plow drivers are just waiting for snow.

"We already have plans to schedule crews on Friday night," said Scott. As always, he asks motorists to give plow drivers space to do their job. "Be patient with us, and don't crowd the plows."

Demolition starts on blighted Muskegon Heights house

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Demolition has begun on a Muskegon Heights home neighbors complained became a dumping site.

Latoya Jackson had contacted 13 On Your Side about the home on Sanford Street and questioned how the city chooses which blighted homes to demolish. A city official told us when homes were selected for demolition earlier this year, the house on Sanford was still privately owned.

It has since gone through foreclosure, clearing the way for work that began Thursday.

"Every other house is boarded up," said neighbor Dorothy Johnson. "This is another one down. I pray that there will be more. If landlords don't keep them up, then they should come down. They make the neighborhood look bad, so yes -- I'm happy."

A $1.8-million federal grant will help pay to remove nearly 100 blighted homes from Muskegon Heights and nearby communities this year.

Holiday tree delivered to Hackley Park

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- It didn't take long for the City of Muskegon to find its holiday tree.

After the city's call for help finding the tree on Wednesday, a flat-bed semi truck delivered a tree to Hackley Park the very next day.

It will become the centerpiece for the Holidays in the City event on Saturday, November 28. Crews will decorate the tree and then light it next Saturday.