Grand Haven Tribune

January 30, 2015

The Grand Haven Tribune - A Michigan newspaper with comprehensive Local News and multi-media from all around West Michigan and the Lakeshore

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015 50¢ Weekday, $1.00 Saturday www.grandhaventribune.com Page 9 GH swimming/diving falls to Rockford SPORTS INSIDE: Black ice contributes to crashes See Story, Page 2 INSIDE: Right decision made on Barber School See Opinion, Page 4 Tomorrow's Weather Partly cloudy and cool High 30 Low 17 Grand Haven Tribune Keep up with breaking news 24/7 at www.grandhaventribune.com 2013 & 2014 Newspaper of the Year BY BECKY VARGO bvargo@grandhaventribune.com A former area resident has been missing for more than a week, and his family is frantically searching for the 39-year-old man. Timothy Groenhout, a graduate of Grand Haven High School in the early 1990s, was last seen in downtown Grand Rapids at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21. The missing ma n's stepmother, Joan Groenhout of Grand Haven, describes her stepson as "a kind and gentle soul." "He likes his solitude," she said, "but he always talked to a family member or friend every day." However, communication with Tim stopped more than a week ago and he hasn't been heard from since. His family believes Tim was headed on foot to cash a check and go to a second round of job interviews for a chef position at a downtown restaurant on Jan. 21. The check was never cashed and Tim did not arrive for his interview, his stepmother said. Tim was wearing his usual backpack, but didn't leave his house with anything to indicate he planned to be gone for a long period of time, Joan said. Tim graduated from the Culinary Arts School at Grand Rapids Community College, worked as a chef in downtown Grand Rapids and then headed to Seattle also to work as a chef. He recently moved back to Grand Rapids from Washington, and was living with his girlfriend and looking for a job. Tim usually has short hair and a beard, but he recently shaved both in preparation for his job interviews. He is a white male; about 6 feet, 1 inch in height; and weighing about 175 pounds. When he was last seen, he was wearing all black with a black backpack. Detective Jeffrey Bouma of the Grand Rapids Police Department said records indi- cate Tim's last communication came from the area of Sixth and Bridge streets in down- town Grand Rapids. The Groenhout family spent Thursday afternoon waiting for the recovery of a body found in the Grand River near the Sixth Street Bridge in Grand Rapids. While the Groenhouts received good news that the body was not Tim, another family was receiving sad news. Tim's family is asking for everyone to share any information they can with the hope that it will lead to his location. Joan said the Groenhout family is grateful for the suppor t of the community as they search for him. "We are hoping that somebody saw something that will lead us to Tim," Joan said. "We have posted to countless Facebook pages, agencies and websites. We have people downtown looking." Joan said they also had people walking the route they think Tim might have taken, and are working with the police and an agency called Missing Persons. Anyone with information is asked to call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616- 456-3403, or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345. Former GH man, 39, missing Groenhout Courtesy photos Earlier this week, students and parents from West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics visited the state Capitol as part of National School Choice Week. The Michigan Association of Public School Academics select- ed the top five innovative charter schools from across the state for the event. During the visit, contemporary dance students from the Ferrysburg academy performed in the Capitol rotunda, and classmates spoke about the school's Advancement Via Individual Determination (A.V.I.D.) program and integration of art and academics. Academy's Capitol visit Courtesy photo ABOVE: West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics students meet Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, second from left. BY ALEX DOTY adoty@grandhaventribune.com Organizers of an upcoming run/walk hope it casts a spotlight on plans to overhaul the city's Waterfront Stadium. The fundraiser, aptly named Run for the Stadium, is a Rotary Club of Grand Haven- sponsored 5k run and 1-mile walk that'll take place Friday, Feb. 6. It will begin down- town and lead to Grand Haven's waterfront. City Manager Pat McGinnis calls the fund- raising run a "big shot in the arm" to help get the ball moving on an ambi- tious project to renovate the 50-year-old stadium. "This project is going to be a monumental project," said McGinnis, who is also a member of the local Rotary. "The Rotary is planning on making this their pre- mier project for 2015." McGinnis hopes next Friday's event gets more people interested and involved in fundraising for the stadium. "We expect if we get a couple runners at $30, that's $6,000," he said. "It gives a good start to get that (Grand Haven Area Community) Foundation fund up and running. … Raising the community awareness and having this type of event is what gets people talking about it and excited about it. Many hands make light work." City off icials esti- mate a remodeling of the stadium would cost between $2.5 mil- lion and $5 million. Organizations includ- ing the city's Downtown Development Authority, the local Chamber of Commerce and commu- nity foundation, and City Council are supportive of the project, McGinnis said. Earlier this year, the community foundation provided the city with a $31,350 grant to get started. "That's to get the land- scape architecture done so we have a more solid estimate of the costs," McGinnis explained. "That's going to give us the definition by April or May of this year." Outside of community donations and fundrais- ers, and grants from the community foundation, McGinnis said the city would likely seek both state and federal grant opportunities. City of Grand Haven graphic This drawing shows what a new and improved Waterfront Stadium might look like. The goal of a run/walk fundrais- er on Friday, Feb. 6, is to raise money and awareness for the stadium's renovation, which city officials estimate could cost between $2.5 million and $5 million. Waterfront run to kick off stadium drive HOW TO PARTICIPATE: • The run begins begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at the inter- section of Washington Avenue and Third Street in downtown Grand Haven. • Cost: $30 • The first 300 partic- ipants will receive a T-shirt, knit hat and headlamp. • To register, visit grandhavenrotary- events.org.

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