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Schools step up for Toys for Tots

(WZZM) - West Michigan schools stepped up and made the annual Toys for Tots School Spirit Challenge a great success once again.

21 schools were represented on the Morning News.  Scroll down to find your school's video.

Click here for more on how you can help Toys for Tots: http://www.wzzm13.com/life/seasonal/toysfortots/ 

Snyder signs bill for memorial on I-96

LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - Governor Rick Snyder has signed a bill renaming a section of I-96 for a Walker Police Officer killed in the line of duty.

Public Act 142 of 2013 renames I-96 between Fruit Ridge Avenue and 16th Avenue as "Officer Trevor Slot Memorial Highway."

Officer Slot was killed in the line of duty during a chase with bank robbers in October of 2011 along I-96.

State Representative Rob VerHeulen proposed the memorial.


Driver seriously hurt after striking jack-knifed semi

POLKTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A passing driver was seriously hurt after a semi jack-knifed on interstate 96 in snowy conditions.

The accident happened around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on westbound I-96 near Coopersville. Ottawa County Sheriff's deputies say a semi driver lost control and ran into a ditch, with the rig blocking traffic.

The driver of an SUV, 19-year-old Cody Stambaugh of Sand Lake, was unable to avoid the semi and clipped the back of the truck.

Stambaugh's vehicle rolled over and he was pinned inside. He was transported to Spectrum Health with serious injuries.

Westbound I-96 was closed for three hours and the semi driver, Jermaine Foxworth, 40, of Illinois was ticketed for driving too fast for the conditions.

How to free your stranded car from the snow

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- WZZM 13 News hit the snowy roads west of Ottawa County Tuesday afternoon and saw multiple vehicles in the ditch. We also saw a lot of tow trucks on the way to save the day.

So how many of you know the tricks to get yourselves out of the ditch?

"I hit the brakes once, fish tailed it, and slammed in to him," said Matt Geoghan, referring to Zach Knapp. "People want to hit their brakes on the highway. That's why she's in the ditch, that's why he spun out," said Knapp.

Lisa Stewart joined the group. All were stuck in the snow on westbound I-96 near Coopersville Tuesday afternoon. "I never did think this would happen to me," said Stewart. "I don't need to be towed out, I just need to be pulled out," she said.

Stewart admits, she has no idea how to get herself out of the snow bank, so she's stuck with one option. "Tow truck guy says $95 or a credit card.

New plans for empty downtown building

New plans for empty downtown building

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—The former home of a day care facility may soon get new life.

Select Services wants to transform the space at 514 W. Randall St. into its professional offices. Select Services would need a special land use permit to move forward with its plans. The Coopersville Planning Commission is expected to weigh in on that permit request on Wednesday, Dec. 11.    Steven Patrick, planning director for Coopersville, is recommending the permit be granted.

Planning commissioners are also expected to discuss how to better develop that area to complement existing businesses.  Patrick will present some possible options during the meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

Water treatment upgrades to come with a higher price tag

Water treatment upgrades to come with a higher price tag

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—  The Coopersville City Council is giving the green light to put more money toward a water treatment facility upgrade.

Council members approved taking an additional $28,500 out of the city’s sewer fund to pay for new dechlorination tanks.  The final price tag is expected to be approximately $148,500, all of which will come out of the sewer fund.  City Manager Steven Patrick says the fund balance is more than $900,000, so the additional cost shouldn’t be a problem. 

Patrick plans to sign a contract with Bauer Construction to begin the project this week. He is hopeful work on the tanks will wrap up before January.

Teen and two pets escape house fire

CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - A 14-year-old boy and two pets were able to escape a house fire Tuesday morning.

The fire happened in the home in the 2900 block of Truman, just north of Conklin, around 10:00am.

A neighbor driving by the home noticed a fire on the deck of the house.  The fire went up the back of the home, into the attic, and spread to the rest of the home.  The fire may have started with coals and ashes from a fire that were not disposed of properly.

The neighbor was able to alert the boy of the fire and help him get out.

The home suffered significant damage.