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Planning commission green lights road commission move

Planning commission green lights road commission move

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--  The Ottawa County Road Commission’s proposal to move its headquarters to Coopersville is moving forward.

The road commission wants to move its operations to 475 68th Avenue in about five to seven years.  Monday night, the Coopersville Planning Commission approved a special land use permit for the proposed project.  Only two people living near the lot attended the meeting to ask that a tree line buffering any potential noise remain intact.\

The planning commission’s approval comes with conditions; the road commission must come up with a preliminary site plan within two years.  If the planning commission approves of the plan, the special land permit will be extended for another five years.  Before that five year extension is up, the road commission will have to submit a final plan for construction.

Coopersville & Marne Railway Company temporarily halts train trips

Coopersville & Marne Railway Company temporarily halts train trips

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—A holiday tradition is about to roll down the tracks in Coopersville.

The Coopersville & Marne Railway Company will begin its Santa Train next week.  The group has temporarily halted all train rides through November 23 for track and equipment repairs.  The maintenance work began November 9.

The trains will begin chugging again November 30, when the Santa Train returns.

Businesses, schools closing for Friday's firearms opener

MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) -- November 15 may not be an official holiday on the calendar, but on Friday, some area schools and businesses will close.

When firearm deer season begins, it might be more difficult to find auto care, an electrician or a landscape service, especially north of Grand Rapids.

WZZM 13 called around to find that some are closing or will have a very limited staff.

Inside Schneider Tire in Marne, Jeff Schneider and crew are working non-stop, with tires and in sales.

"This week has been incredibly busy," said Schneider, who works in sales. "The phones do not stop ringing."

They're preparing customers' vehicles for winter. But Schneider's mentally preparing for 3 a.m., Thursday.

"I've had this on my calendar since last January," he said.

That's his annual family hunting trip to the UP. About two-thirds of the 50 employees here will also be gone hunting.

Ottawa Co. appoints new mental health leader

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) -- Ottawa County has selected  Lynne Doyle as the new Executive Director of Community Mental Health.

Previously, Doyle was the Deputy Director at the agency and has worked in various positions with the county for the past twenty years.  She is a Limited Licensed Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and Public Administration.

"Lynne has done an excellent job as interim executive director following Dr. Brashears' exit.  Doyle was a unanimous choice to replace him.  She knows the system well given her many years with the Department," says Don Disselkoen, Chairman of the Ottawa County Community Mental Health Board.

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."