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Motorcyclist killed in Coopersville crash

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- An Afghanistan war veteran from Grand Rapids was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car Wednesday afternoon. The crash happened around 1:20 p.m. at 64th Avenue and W. Randall Street.

Ottawa County Sheriff's deputies say a southbound car stopped at the intersection and then pulled in front of the motorcycle, which had the right of way. The driver of the car told authorities he did not see the motorcycle.

The motorcyclist, a 26-year-old Michael VanHolstyn, was ejected from his motorcycle and died on impact; he was wearing a helmet. Several witnesses say VanHolstyn was speeding excessively in the 45 mph zone.

The driver of the car, Bradley Silvis, 61, and his wife, Peggy, 62, of Muskegon, were not seriously hurt.

The crash shut down the intersection for approximately 2.5 hours, but it has since reopened.

My Town Coopersville: Diocese appoints new pastor to parish

My Town Coopersville: Diocese appoints new pastor to parish

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—A pastor in Coopersville is taking his spiritual lessons to Spring Lake.

Bishop Walter Walkowiak  of the Diocese of Grand Rapids has announced Rev. David C. Gross of St. Mary Parish in Marne and St. Michael Parish in Coopersville will take over as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Spring Lake.  His appointment takes effect Sept. 17.

Bishop Walkowiak has appointed Rev. D. Anton Tran to take over Gross’ duties at the parishes in Marne and Coopersville, beginning Sept. 17.  Tran is the current pastor of St. Mary-St. Jerome Parish in Custer. 

School rankings show districts' points of pride, areas for improvement


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan's annual school accountability scorecards are out.


The report ranks schools according to factors like attendance and how well they meet goals set by the state's education department.


Schools that fall in the bottom five percent of the rankings are considered "priority" schools and are placed under the supervision of Michigan's school reform officer. There are 138 schools identified as "priority" schools. Nearly half of them are on that list for the fist time.


At least two West Michigan districts with priority schools also have schools among the state's top performers: Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Heights Public Schools.


Coopersville businessman sentenced for fraud

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Coopersville businessman has been sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison for fraud.

Roger Lee Andrews, 54, was sentenced to 87 months behind bars and ordered to pay $1,493,870.77 in restitution and $1,408,061.33 to the federal government in a money judgment.

Andrews bilked friends and business partners out of more than $1.8 million -- by asking them to help pay for capital improvements on land he claimed to own in Indiana -- and then used the money for online stock trading, according to US Attorney Patrick Miles Jr.

Dogs sniffing for human waste in local waterways

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A pair of specially-trained dogs are following a hot trail to find contaminated waterways in Ottawa County.

WZZM 13 followed the canines sniffing out human waste in local streams. It's probably not a job many people would want, but in a dog's world, it comes with the territory.

"It gets a little nasty out there sometimes; the dogs enjoy it- they think it's a game," says Scott Reynolds, co-owner of Environmental Canine Services.

The dogs, Sable and Logan, are specially trained to sniff out human feces.

"We're trying to locate sources of E. coli," says Reynolds.

Monday, the dogs focused on water samples from Deer Creek in Coopersville. Logan first indicated there were levels of contamination; Sable's response was not as clear.

My Town Coopersville: Another break-in attempt reported as city adds security fence

My Town Coopersville: Another break-in attempt reported as city adds security fence

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.— Work is underway to improve security at the Department of Public Works garage, just as the city handles yet another break-in attempt at the site.

City Manager Steven Patrick says earlier this month, someone tried to break the door knob at the garage but failed.  The city’s recreation building did experience a break-in, but Patrick believes the suspect was just looking for a place to spend the night, as nothing of value was taken.

The city is adding a gate and fence around the DPW site to prevent thieves from driving off with city property.  That project is expected to be finished within the next couple weeks, if the weather cooperates.  However, the security measures only prevent vehicles from entering, not thieves who walk onto the property.  Patrick expects the city will need to further upgrade security at the site in the future.

Family offers reward in fatal hit & run

MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The family of a man killed in a hit and run is offering a reward for the arrest of the person responsible.

Travis Ryke, 24, died last month when he was hit by a car while walking on Arthur road in Ottawa County. The incident happened late at night, as Ryke was returning home from a bar in Coopersville.

RELATED: Hit and run victim's family: Anger comes after grief

Police do not yet have any suspects in the case.

Ryke's family is offering $1,000 for a tip that leads to an arrest.