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Coopersville cheer team reacts to being national champs


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- As we told you Monday night, the elite cheerleading team from Coopersville spent last weekend representing West Michigan in a national competition in Grand Rapids.

The team made it to nationals for the past four years and never placed -- but on this fifth trip, they won it all.

The team and their coach, Sierra Tank, joined the WZZM 13 News at to talk about their victory. See what they had to say in the video above.

Team try-outs are 6 p.m. on August 19. You don't have to live in Coopersville to make the team. Learn more by emailing coachsierrat@yahoo.com.

Coopersville Elite eyes national cheer title


WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- DeVos Place in Grand Rapids hosts 200 cheer teams from across the country this weekend for the Young Champions Cheer Nationals. One of the teams will be the Michigan state champions, the Coopersville Elite squad.

"This team is special because we put a lot of energy and focus into our work, and we really give it 100 percent -- and it's our attitude," said 15-year-old cheerleader Adriana Alcala.

These girls are ready. This is the fifth straight year they're heading to nationals, but they have never placed. This is their best team so far, coming off a state title, and they have their eyes set on conquering the national stage.

"The rush is totally different; there are so many people and the set up is crazy," said Kelsey Matzat. "It's awesome, and a lot more pressure."

Social media opposition to Lantern Fest grows


MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Lantern Fest is scheduled for October 3 at Berlin Raceway, but on social media there's growing opposition.

Some cite safety and environmental concerns, saying the event poses a risk to natural resources. On twitter, people are using the hashtag #LosetheLanterns to voice their thoughts on the event.

The Lantern Fest website says the lanterns are 100% biodegradable. There are also professional lantern chasers who collect 90% of the lanterns after the event.

For those who want to participate in the event, registration is underway at TheLanternFest.com.


16 handguns stolen from local gun shop


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is investigating a breaking and entering at the Palladium Gun Shop in Coopersville.

Police were dispatched to 158 Eastmanville St. at 1:20 a.m. on a report of a breaking and entering in progress. When they arrived on scene, they found a broken window on the south-side of the store, but no suspects. After the initial investigation, approximately 16 handguns were reported missing.

An Ottawa County K-9 team tracked the suspect(s) for about two blocks to the north, but was ultimately unable to locate anyone.

If you have any information, please call the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office at 1-800-249-0911 or Silent Observer.


Reed Kamyszek competes in his First Professional 15k Race

Reed Kamyszek competes in his First Professional 15k Race

Orange alums shine at local race!

Police ID man who drowned in Marne quarry lake


WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Ottawa County authorities are investigating an apparent drowning Thursday morning near Marne.

It happened just before 12 p.m. in a gravel pit lake in the 2900 block of Roosevelt Street.

Deputies found Richard Buikema, 66, of Grand Rapids unresponsive on the shore. EMS personnel tried reviving him but were unsuccessful.

Deputies say Buikema was fishing with a friend when he tried to stand in the front of an aluminum boat, causing it to overturn. He and his friend started swimming toward shore but Buikema became unresponsive about 15 feet from shore. His friend helped bring him to shore and start revival efforts.

Life jackets were in the boat but not in use, the sheriff's office said, and the incident remains under investigation.

A witness said Buikema came to the Marne area to go fishing twice a year.

Lost in seven tons of garbage, family heirloom found


COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Losing a family heirloom can be devastating -- so when a Coopersville woman learned her mother-in-law's snow globe was accidentally thrown in the garbage, she called the landfill to see what, if anything, they could do.

"She got it when she learned she was cancer free on her birthday," said Kasey Davis, who added it's a family treasure. "You really can't put a price on it. It has more of a sentimental value then it does anything."

When Davis learned her mother-in-law's cancer had returned, she wanted to give the snow globe an upgrade.

"We went to get it engraved," she explained, adding the words,"We Love You," to show support.