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Coopersville City Council approves renewing inmate work agreement

Coopersville City Council approves renewing inmate work agreement

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--  Coopersville will continue to use Ottawa County’s Sentence Work Abatement Program to help ease the workload of its Department of Public Works.

During Monday night’s meeting, the council unanimously approved renewing its SWAP service agreement for the year.  City Manager Steven Patrick says the program puts inmates to work, providing additional labor for the city at an economical rate.  Inmates are assigned to low-priority but necessary tasks like clearing paths, walkways, storm retention areas and washing city vehicles.

Patrick says Coopersville has been participating in SWAP for more than a decade.  

Business destroyed by fire in 2010 now expanding

Business destroyed by fire in 2010 now expanding

POLKTON TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- A Coopersville area business destroyed by fire nearly four years ago is expanding.

DeVries Meats Inc. won approval for its expansion plan from the Polkton Township Board last month.  The planning commission previously green-lighted the project.

In February 2010, a fire gutted DeVries Meats, located at 17685 80th Street.  No employees were injured, valuable inventory was saved, and their stock of nearly 100 hogs in a nearby barn were all rescued. The business has since been rebuilt.

Snow plow and truck involved in I-96 crash

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM/AP) - Westbound I-96 has reopened after a multiple vehicle crash involving a snow plow.

The crash happened just before 9:00am near Mile Marker 16 near Coopersville. 

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department reports that a truck driven by Chad Searcy of Kent City was traveling westbound at about 50 mph when it hit the back of an Ottawa County snow plow traveling about 25 mph.  Searcy was injured in the crash.  He was also ticketed for driving too fast for conditions.

Three other vehicles ended up in the ditch.


Church fire scare turns out to be burning trash

MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) -- People driving past Marne last night called 911 after seeing what they thought was a church fire, but it turned out to be a neighbor burning his trash.

The WZZM 13 Information Center received reports from people saying they saw the roof of the Berlin Baptist Church on fire around 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

When crews arrived, they found out the smoke was coming from a nearby home, where a man was burning garbage in his burn barrels.

Firefighters say there was no damage.

$14K in tires & rims stolen from dealership

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- Ottawa County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the theft of more than $14,000 worth of tires from a car dealership.

Thieves used a portable car jack to remove tires and rims from at least four Chevrolet Tahoes at Betten Baker Chevrolet Buick in Coopersville. Investigators believe the theft happened around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

A similar crime happened in October 2012 when thieves stole tires and rims from 15 vehicles at the same dealership.

Investigators are looking for a two-door pickup truck with an open bed that was seen in the area Sunday night. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT.

Family dog killed in Marne house fire

MARNE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A family escaped a fire in their Ottawa County home, but the family's dog was killed.

It happened around 12 a.m. Friday on Johnson Street near 40th Avenue in Marne.

According to the Wright-Tallmadge Township Fire Chief, the homeowner was not at home when the fire started. When he got home, he noticed the house was filled with smoke. When he went inside to find the source of the smoke, he fell through the floor into the basement. He was able to get outside safely, and call 911.

The fire was burning through the house when the first crews arrived. They called in additional firefighters and tanker help from Allendale, Coopersville and Conklin.

No one was injured. Investigators are looking into the cause.

Area awarded $15 million for road projects

LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - West Michigan drivers can expect a smoother ride, beginning next spring.

Thursday morning the state announced more than $15 million in funding for road and infrastructure projects in the region.  The money, which comes from the $115 million allocated to the Michigan Roads and Risk Reserve Fund, will be divided up among Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Ionia and Montcalm counties. 

"These projects will all take place within our state's current budget and without raising taxes, which is what our hard-working taxpayers deserve. By planning ahead and allocating these funds specifically for road and bridge projects, we are paving the way for a brighter future here in Michigan," said Cannon Township Representative Peter MacGregor in a statement released Thursday.

The list of road projects includes:

Kent County