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Niki Bloem/Townsquare Media Grand Rapids
Niki Bloem/Townsquare Media Grand Rapids
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Army Spec. Mitchell Oliver Visits for Fourth of July Week Leave Through Fly A Soldier Home [Video]

U.S. Army Spec. Mitchell Oliver is currently back home in Greenville, spending a 17-day leave that includes the Independence Day weekend thanks to an unexpected assist.

The 20-year-old soldier flew home June 21 to heartwarmingly -- and unsuspectingly for his mother -- see his parents, Deann and Gary Oliver, at Gerald R. Ford International Airport. He arrived with a welcoming reception from Blue Star Mothers of America and Patriot Guard Riders.

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The Rhythm Aces
The Rhythm Aces
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The Rhythm Aces Groovin’ at Amway Family Fireworks on July 5 [Audio]

A rockabilly-, swing- and surf music-playing Grand Rapids group is kicking off the entertainment for the Amway Family Fireworkscelebration on Saturday.

The Rhythm Aces, comprised of former members of The ChupaCobras, performs its eclectic musical styles for the Amway Family Fireworks at 6 p.m. July 5 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids.

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Ben Utecht
Getty Images
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Retired NFL Player Ben Utrecht Records Touching Song to Raise Awareness About Brain Injuries [Video]

Everyone knows that the impact of brain injuries is an issue facing the NFL, but the latest former player to raise awareness of it is doing so in a unique way.

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Courtesy Three's A Crowd
Courtesy Three's A Crowd
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Three’s A Crowd Rocks at Amway Family Fireworks on July 5 [Video]

One of Grand Rapids' top cover bands is playing Saturday at the Amway Family Fireworks celebration.

Three’s a Crowd performs at the Amway Family Fireworks at 9 p.m. July 5 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids.

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Daredevil Circus Company/Anthony Nowack
Daredevil Circus Company/Anthony Nowack
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Daredevil Circus Company Performs at Amway Family Fireworks on July 5 [Video]

A homegrown Grand Rapids circus troupe is performing Saturday in a return show for the Amway Family Fireworks celebration.

Daredevil Circus Company brings its Cirque du Soleil-style show to the Amway Family Fireworks at 8 p.m. July 5 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids.

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Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
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Fireworks Season Means Enjoying Community Displays, Celebrating Safely [Video/Infographic]

It's the season for fireworks, which are synonymous with Independence Day celebrations.

July 4 marks the 238th anniversary this year of the United States' independence from England through the Declaration of Independence. It means celebrating our nation's founding through community events, with professionally-done aerial fireworks displays such as the Amway Family Fireworks on July 5 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids.

If consumer fireworks are used at home or elsewhere, enjoy them safely to protect lives and property while embracing Independence Day.

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Re/Max
Re/Max
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Re/Max of Grand Rapids’ Family Fun Zone, Hot Air Balloon at Amway Family Fireworks

The Amway Family Fireworks will light up the Grand Rapids skies July 5 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids in celebration of Independence Day.

But before that colorful display next Saturday, Re/Max of Grand Rapids' Family Fun Zone from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST at Ah-Nab-Awen park.

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TRANFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
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New Movies This Week: ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ and ‘Met Summer Encore: La Rondine’ [Video]

Okay, so only one new movie this week, but it's a biggie: the fourth installment in the robot-alien-EXPLOSIONS!!! saga based on a 1980s cartoon.

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Photo Courtesy of Amway
Photo Courtesy of Amway
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Have a Blast with Amway Family Fireworks on Fifth of July in Downtown Grand Rapids

The Amway Family Fireworks will light up the Grand Rapids skies on July 5 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids in celebration of Independence Day.

The 2014 event marks the fourth year of Amway’s title sponsorship of the annual fireworks display.

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Getty Images/ Kolett
Getty Images/ Kolett
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Grand Rapids Public Schools Talks Budget Cuts [Video]

Facing a $13.5 million deficit due to a projected enrollment decline of 400 students, Grand Rapids Public Schools may have to make some tough decisions.

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Photo by Nocella/Three Lions/Getty Images
Photo by Nocella/Three Lions/Getty Images
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‘My Kids Suck:’ Disgruntled Dad Sells His Children’s Stuff on Craigslist

Craigslist is not only a great place to buy things cheap, it's also a snapshot of who we are as Americans.  We reveal ourselves by the words we choose when selling our old crap.

Here's a case in point: A trampoline for sale from a Dad who clearly is fed up with buying stuff for his unappreciative children.  

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girls
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For Father’s Day: Never Grow Up, Never Give Up

For the first time since my oldest was born, all three of my daughters will be away from home for Father's Day.

That's not a bad thing. I wanted them to grow up independent, and live life to the fullest, and that's what they're doing, and that's the best gift I could ever ask for.

I wrote the following essay last year when my oldest, who lives in Los Angeles now, graduated from college, and I thought I'd share it with you.

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