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Ottawa Co. Road Comm. forced to cut costs

WEST OLIVE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Ottawa County's Road Commission is facing new budget requirements in order to continue operating.  On Tuesday, the county board decided to require the independent road commission to cut costs, instead of eliminating the department and taking control of its services.

County leaders say the road commission has mismanaged its budget by spending too much on employee benefits and not enough on the roads. The county board will review the road commission's progress on cutting spending in July.

"It's an enormous expense to the road commission and the taxpayers and that's something we're going to ask them to revisit and to look at and see how can they get those numbers down, because when there's more money going to employee benefits, there's less money going to fix the roads," says Shannon Felgner, an Ottawa County spokeswoman.

Should Ottawa County eliminate its road commission?

Should Ottawa County eliminate its road commission?

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.--  Ottawa County residents will have one last chance to weigh in on who should handle county roads Tuesday, August 13.

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners is considering taking over the responsibility of county roads and public utilities.  Michigan is the only state to still have road commissions.  Last month, the Board of Commissioners released nearly a year’s worth of research and findings by The Road Commission Task Force.  The task force’s three proposed plans include:

Funding deadline nears for communities impacted by flooding

Funding deadline nears for communities impacted by flooding

Communities impacted by the floods in April have less than a week to file their request for federal disaster money. 

In June, President Obama declared a major disaster in 16 Michigan counties, including Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon and Newaygo. The Small Business Association also issued a disaster declaration this summer.  Both declarations freed up federal assistance for homeowners, local governments and certain non-profits who were forced to clean up.  Homeowners and businesses had until Monday, August 12 to apply for assistance; city officials have until August 17.

The flooding caused $10 million in damage in Kent County alone.  Federal funding would help pay for debris removal and repairs to public property, roads and bridges.

Two injured in aggressive driving incident

POLKTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) --  Witnesses say an aggressive driver sparked a crash that injured a 42-year-old Middleville man and a child.

The accident happened at 3:45 p.m. Sunday on eastbound I-96, near the 17 mile marker in Polkton Township.  Witnesses say the driver of a black BMW was driving aggressively and merged into the path of a pickup truck towing a camper trailer. The pickup truck driver lost control trying to avoid the car and rolled off the road.

The pickup truck driver and one of four children in the vehicle suffered non-life threatening injuries.   The driver's wife, who was also in the vehicle, was not injured.

GRNow.com explores Coopersville Farm Museum

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM)- The Coopersville Farm Museum is not just about heavy machinery anymore.

Today, the museum offers educational opportunities for children, community projects, and as GRNow's Kim Carson uncovers, a haven for quilters!

The 12th Annual Quilt Show is taking over the museum August through September. More than 100 one-of-a-kind quilts are on display.

The Coopersville Farm Museum is located at 375 Main Street in Coopersville.

Deanie Peters Mystery highlighted at Berlin Raceway

MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) - It's a big weekend for racing at Berlin. The ARCA series is in town with a national broadcast. Besides all the power under the hood, what's on the hood of one car hopes to draw attention.

It's the image of Deanie Peters, who, at age 14, disappeared from Forest Hills Central Middle School in February of 1981.

Martin Gray of the Missing Children's Racing Network was motivated to get Deanie's image out in front of the public again.

"I've helped bring 7 kids home so far so were hoping we get a good result out of this race tonight" Gray told WZZM 13.

Hear from Gray and driver Darrel Basham in the number 34 car, tonight at 6 on WZZM 13 News.

Thief swipes vehicle off dealership lot in daylight

Thief swipes vehicle off dealership lot in daylight

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—Ottawa County deputies are looking for a man in his thirties who posed as a customer to steal a car off a dealership lot.

Investigators say the suspect arrived at Betten-Baker Auto just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday and began asking questions about a red  two-door 2001 Chevrolet Camaro.  After distracting the salesperson, the thief swiped the Camaro’s keys and drove away.

During their investigation, deputies found the suspect had driven to Coopersville in a Mercedes SUV stolen from another dealership about 165 miles away in Ferndale, MI. 

The stolen vehicle is a Z-28 SS model with the Michigan dealer license plate of 421D28.  That plate was originally on the Mercedes.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT or submit their tip online at www.mosotips.com.