5.16.16:  Tulip Time festival fails in 2nd try to break dancing record



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — The Tulip Time festival in western Michigan again fell short in breaking a record for dancing in wooden shoes.

The Holland Sentinel reports Saturday’s attempt at Kollen Park in Holland drew just under 1,000 dancers. They needed about 2,600.

Last year, they came closer, netting 1,700 in their first attempt.

The city of Holland is known for its Dutch heritage.

Organizers say breaking the record would have been great but the event is more about fundraising: It was held in partnership with Bethany Christian Services, an adoption support agency.

About $30,000 was raised last year for post-adoption services. This year’s fundraising total is expected to be tallied in a few weeks.

Organizers say they likely will take a few years off from another record-breaking attempt.


5.13.16:  Fire breaks out at Faith United Reformed Church in West Olive



Several crews responded to the scene of a church fire in Ottawa County Friday morning.

The fire broke out at Faith United Reformed Church, 8370 120th Ave., West Olive.

The call came in shortly after 8:30 a.m. after smoke and flames were spotted coming from the roof.

There is no word yet on the cause.



5-9-16 Are Gas Prices Going Up This Summer?

Earlier this year, analysts projected that the price of a gallon of gas, nationally, would average $2.63 in May, up from $1.97 in January.  But we really haven’t seen those prices, with most around 30-40 cents lower than projected.

Will that translate into the rest of the summer?  Many analysts projected the yearly average would be around 2.28 a gallon, similar to where we are now.

But if the past is any indication, gasoline prices typically rise in the summer, simply because more people travel and refineries have switched to a more costly summer blend of fuel.

However, several other factors need to be taken into account.

Instability in several parts of the world will affect gasoline prices.  Inventories of oil will make an impact.  And never forget oil production is controlled by multiple countries with competing interests.

5-9-16 Rising Costs to Park at Local Beach

If you enjoy the Pere Marquette beach you could pay more to get there.  Muskegon City Commissioners will discuss the possibility of increasing beach parking rates as a way to pay for the rising cost of maintenance and operations.  Muskegon area residents could also see an increase in sewer rates with additional increases a possibility in the future.

5-9-16 Trail Improvements in West Michigan

Work is resuming on improvements to one of Michigan’s oldest rails-to-trails projects. The William Field Memorial Hart Montague Trail State Park winds for 22.6 miles through rural and wooded terrain. It also goes through the communities of Hart, Mears, Shelby, New Era, Rothbury and Montague. Improvements began last year and will be completed this summer. They include widening, resurfacing and improving bridge structures.

5-9-16 Trying to Identify Person Found in Sunken Boat

An investigation is now underway to determine the identity of a person found on a boat that sank Sunday in the Barrett Boat Works marina in Spring Lake.  Some reports suggest that boat is owned by a Grand Rapids firefighter who has not been found.  Residents reported hearing an explosion around five yesterday morning and when crews arrived they found the boat fully engulfed in flames.

4-26-16 Ottawa County Deputy Praised for Quick Thinking

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy in western Michigan is getting praise for helping to rescue a bunch of ducklings from storm sewer drain as their mother looked on.

The Holland Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1MVuEGz ) Ottawa County sheriff’s Deputy Tony Boersema collected the ducklings outside a fast food restaurant in Holland Township. The encounter drew attention after woman posted about it on Facebook.

Undersheriff Steve Kempker says the ducks were relocated to an area that’s less busy following the weekend rescue. He says responding to reports involving wildlife is part of the job in Ottawa County, where authorities might get calls about a horse or cow on the loose.

Kempker says “it makes us feel good that we have employees who will go that little extra on these types of calls.”


4.21.16:  Michigan city with Dutch heritage to get new ‘welkom’ signs



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — New gateway signs for a Michigan city known for its Dutch heritage will keep a popular “welkom.”

The city of Holland was planning to remove signs with painted tulips and the phrase “Welkom to Holland,” using the Dutch spelling of “welcome.” Some residents didn’t like losing the Dutch “welkom.” The city asked Studio Graphique of Cleveland, which designed the new signs, to send back options to incorporate “welkom.”

The Holland Sentinel reports the City Council voted 8-0 Wednesday to amend the sign design. The new 13-foot-tall orange sign columns, which feature a metal structure, will read in a vertical layout “Welkom to Holland.”


4.13.16:  Municipalities seek to establish Lake Macatawa water trail



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — Four local governments in western Michigan are collaborating to establish a water trail on Lake Macatawa as part of an effort to designate the city of Holland as a “Pure Michigan Trail Town.”


Gov. Rick Snyder recently approved a $300,000 grant to install a universally accessible kayak and canoe launch and other recreational amenities at Dunton Park in Holland Township. Funding is still being sought for similar launches at Kollen Park in Holland, the South Shore Marina in Park Township and Ottawa County’s Historic Ottawa Beach.


Each respective local government hopes to secure grants to cover the $45,000 launches.


Holland Township secured funding for Dunton Park amid the $28 million in projects approved last week by Snyder through the Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund.