WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY & WINTER STORM WARNING

SATURDAY EVENING THROUGH EARLY MONDAY

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for all of West Michigan except counties along the Michigan-Indiana border, effective from 7 pm Saturday until 6 am Monday. A strong storm will be crossing the Ohio Valley Sunday, bringing snow to West Michigan, with some areas perhaps seeing as much as 10-12" of accumulation. Snowfall will be heaviest south as opposed to north, so along/south of I-94 is where the highest accumulations are expected... 6-10" possible. However, Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Ottawa, and Kent could see anywhere from 4-6". Additionally, gusty winds will be blowing the snow quite a bit, causing drifting on roads along with poor visibility. Travel is discouraged from late Saturday night through Sunday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the following counties in West Michigan, effective from 7 pm Saturday until 4 am Monday: Berrien, Cass, St.Joseph, Branch, and Hillsdale. A strong winter storm moving into/across the Ohio Valley will bring periods of heavy snow to the Warning area, beginning late tonight and extending through at least Sunday evening. Forecast models indicate between 8 and 12" of accumulation are possible. Additionally, strong winds will cause blowing and drifting snow. Driving conditions will be hazardous Sunday. Travel is not encouraged.

Stay with Newschannel 3 and wwmt.com for the latest updates.

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Vigil held for victim of fatal Kentwood stabbing

Updated: Thursday, August 7, 2014
Vigil held for victim of fatal Kentwood stabbing story image

KENTWOOD, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Friends and family gathered Wednesday night to remember a little boy who was stabbed to death on a playground.

It happened Monday night at Pinebrooke Village in Kentwood, and police say the killer is another child, just 12 years old.

Jamarion Lawhorn is accused of repeatedly stabbing 9-year-old Connor Verkerke.

Detectives say the attack appears to have been unprovoked.

Family members and the community itself are struggling so much that we were asked to keep our distance during the vigil Wednesday night.

Even from a distance, though, their message was clear.

The community has had two days to wrap their collective head around the death of 9-year-old Connor Verkerke, but they still wonder how anyone could ever do such a thing.

"Thank you to the community," said Jim Stearns, who described himself as Connor's uncle. "To everyone around here, for being so strong, and loving, and kind."

He says Connor's mother and three siblings are trying to focus on the future.

"In every tragedy, there has to be some kind of a silver lining. I don't know if we've found it or can find it," Stearns said. "All I know is we need to be more vigilant as a community. We need to strike a balance between protecting our kids and giving them the freedom to understand the world."

That's something that many in attendance Wednesday night believe was made infinitely more difficult by Monday's events.

"Their heart goes out to the family of the young boy, because we know that even though we're dealing with a different type of pain, they'll be dealing with a similar pain," Stearns said of Lawhorn's family.

Stearns says he hopes we can realize what's important, the way he says 9-year-old Connor did in his last words to his brother.

"If anything happens to me, it's not your fault; I always love you."

Stearns says right now, Connor's mother is focusing on the well-being and mental health of her three other children.

Objective number one is finding them a new home.

If you'd like to help the family, you can do so by clicking here. http://www.gofundme.com/michaelconnorverkerke

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