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Mayoral switch to take place Monday

Mayoral switch to take place Monday

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—A changing of the guard in Coopersville is set to happen Monday night.

Outgoing Mayor Ken Bush is switching offices with new mayor, Rodney Lloyd.  Lloyd ran unopposed in the November 5 election; voters elected Bush to one of three open city council seats.

Lloyd, Bush,  and re-elected city council members Joel Meintsma and Mary Fisher will be sworn in during the 7 p.m. meeting.   Each will serve a four year term.

Toilet tradition helps pay for new city banners

Toilet tradition helps pay for new city banners

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.— The Coopersville community can thank a tradition involving toilets for some of the new signs greeting visitors.

City officials say the 30 city banners hanging above the historic downtown area were partly paid for by a group of merchants, with money they raised during the Outhouse 500.  The city also contributed nearly $4,000 to purchasing the new set of 52 banners.

The banners came in two designs; the set hanging above Randall Street feature a train with the message “Coopersville welcomes you.” The other set, located in the historic downtown area, carries the image of a building and the message “Welcome, explore and enjoy.” 

The banners are from a company out of Kalamazoo.   Each one is made out of heavy duty awning material so it can stand up to Michigan’s harsh weather conditions.  The Downtown Development Authority hopes the banners will last for 10 years. 

Teenager sentenced in Russian roulette killing

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- An act of "stupidity," a mother's words to an Ottawa County judge, as she asked for the maximum sentence for her son's killer.

Richard Usher, 18, was sentenced to at least three years in prison for shooting his friend in the face during a game of Russian Roulette earlier this year.

Usher was the only inmate, wearing red as he walked into the courtroom. The teen appeared self conscious, quickly glancing at the news cameras and looking away.

His former friend's mother, Jannie Kuiper, directly faced the judge and described a final goodbye to her 16-year-old son, Brandon.

"His last words to me as he walked out the door were, 'See you mom'," says Jannie Kuiper. " I will see him again one day but until then, his friends, family, and myself will have to live with Richard Usher's violent stupidity."

New banners to welcome visitors downtown

New banners to welcome visitors downtown

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--   New banners will soon welcome visitors to downtown Coopersville.

City officials have approved purchasing dozens of new banners to grace the posts at the city gateway and historic downtown.  There are two types of banners; one version will be featured on Main Street, the other will be posted on Randall Street.

City Manager Steven Patrick says funding for the banners came out of the Downtown Development Authority budget.

Manufacturer seeks tax breaks for downtown expansion

Manufacturer seeks tax breaks for downtown expansion

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—A public hearing will take place Monday, October 28 for a 12-year tax break request by a manufacturer moving to downtown Coopersville.

Ranger Die, Inc. is in the process of renovating the industrial building located at 1300 W. Randall St.  The $2.1 million project includes purchasing new equipment.  Leo Rapp, president of the company that is leasing the property to Ranger Die, says the move and expansion will lead to approximately 15 new high-skill, high-paying jobs over the next two years. The company anticipates moving into the finished space around November 1.

A hearing is also planned for Reeves Plastics, LLC, which is also requesting an industrial tax break for new equipment it purchased.  The city council meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Coopersville Summerfest to return with a new name

Coopersville Summerfest to return with a new name

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—Coopersville Summerfest will return next year under a new name.

The week-long event will be called Del Shannon Days.  The Rotary of Coopersville will be sponsoring the event, after donating $10,000 to the Coopersville NEO Forum and $4,000 to the Del Shannon Scholarship Fund from the Rotary-run Del Shannon Car Show.  According to the Coopersville Summerfest Facebook page, the Rotary has donated a total of $61,200 to both groups over the past four years because of the car show’s success.  Kate Terpstra with the Del Shannon Car Show says the event is in its 24th year, and each year it grows.  On average, they estimate 75,000 turn out for the main event, with 600 vehicles on display.   

Duane Young will help organizers coordinate the week long community events.  Del Shannon Days 2014 will take place August 4 through August 9.

Teacher sues MEA over union requirement

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- If she doesn't pay her union dues, a kindergarten teacher says the Michigan Education Association is threatening to turn her over to a collection agency and ruin her credit.

Miriam Chanski, 24, says she informed the MEA in May she was quitting the teachers union, didn't want their representation, and would no longer be paying dues.

"At that point, I thought I was finished and I was out of the union," said Chanski. But in July, Chanski says she received a letter stating there was more to the process of opting out of the union.

"It surprised me that there would be more to the process-- I had not heard anything else," said Chanski.

Now the dispute has erupted into a legal battle because union leaders say the Coopersville kindergarten teacher didn't file the correct paperwork at the proper time meaning she will be in the union for at least another year.