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Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Often listed among the top 10 fears people have, public speaking is a skill that can help anyone regardless of their age or background. Whether it’s at school, work or among friends and family, the ability to speak in front of an audience – even if it’s an audience of one – can be the key to future success. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the oldest Toastmasters International organization in Michigan – located here in Grand Rapids – continues to thrive as it celebrates its 70th birthday.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. With more than 345,000 members around the world, Toastmasters empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by providing a safe, supportive and structured setting for its members to acquire and practice meaningful communications and leadership skills on a regular basis to promote and enhance career and personal growth.

Free Fishing Weekend Coming Up

Free Fishing Weekend Coming Up

For the Valentine’s weekend, it’s a free fishing weekend for residents and out of state visitors.

All fishing license fees are waived for two days in Michigan, February 13 & 14 from 6:00am – 10:00pm. This allows fishing enthusiasts to enjoy the chance to catch all types of fish on both inland and Great Lakes’ waters during their respective open season. Just remember that all regulations still apply.

Call: (517)284-5839 or email walters@michigan.gov for more information. Visit www.michigan.gov for details.

Coopersville mother describes attack, baby's kidnapping


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Coopersville mother is sharing her horror story of being strangled and seeing her daughter kidnapped.

Police arrested her estranged husband, Joseph Dunn, just as they were about to issue an Amber Alert. 

Investigators say Dunn broke into Shelby Dunn's home on Main Street in Coopersville around 5 a.m. on Monday. A short time later, police found him in Kent County with the 16-month-old girl unhurt.

Shelby showed WZZM 13 the cuts on her face and the scratches on her neck.  She described being attacked, beginning her story with the harrowing start.

Ride the rails while visiting Santa Claus


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Santa Train in Coopersville is giving all the kids on the good list a chance to get their final gift requests to Santa himself.

A few of Santa's elves will escort the children to sit with Santa and a story-telling Princess will read from the book, "The Polar Express" which was written by Grand Rapids native, Chris Van Allsburg.

All children who come aboard will also get a present from Santa.

December 12th and 13th train rides are sold out, but there are seats available for December 19th and 20th.

For departure times and to purchase tickets, click here.

Ticket Prices:

Adults $17.00,

Senior $16.00,

Children (2-12) $15.00,

Under 2 FREE


Nighttime Christmas Parade marches through Coopersville


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's a long-standing tradition in Ottawa County: the Nighttime Christmas Parade through historic downtown Coopersville.

This is the 35th year for the parade, making it one of the longest-running nighttime parades in the entire state.

Kids were also able to meet some reindeer!

"The kids love petting them," said Tricia Bush with the Chamber of Commerce. "They're beautiful. The two we have this year are 8 months old, and they're really beautiful reindeer."

"We're thankful for our community and the sense of belonging that it has for all of our residents," said Chamber of Commerce executive director Rose Zainea-Wieten.

The parade is run by volunteers. Planning for the parade takes months; they started getting ready back in August.


Five students injured in school bus accident near Marne


TALLMEDGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two Zion Christian School students were taken to a hospital after their school bus crashed near Marne Thursday morning.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department tells WZZM 13 there were a total of five students on board at the time of the accident. The bus left the road around 7:25 a.m. near the corner of 24th Avenue and Leonard Street.

Coopersville schools honor alumni who entered military


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Coopersville Public Schools District is honoring alumni who served in the military.

For the last three months, organizers have been trying to gather pictures of alumni who entered the military. On Thursday, they unveiled the Wall of Honor displaying 247 pictures of alumni who entered the service.

"It's something that we should not take for granted," said organizer Warren Warber. "Every day, it's always there, and it's always going to be there. Don't forget these people."

"Compared to myself, there is some really special people on this wall," said veteran Russ Lillie. "That's what I'd like people to remember."

If you have a photo of a Coopersville graduate who entered the military, you can send it to the Wall of Honor at Coopersville High School.