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.


3.21.16:  Warmer days send tulips up — weeks before Holland fest



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A chilly spring? That would be fine with the folks in Holland in western Michigan, where tulips are celebrated during a May festival.

Many plants already are poking through the ground, part of the 425,000 tulip bulbs planted last fall. Tulip Time marketing director Susan Zalnis says she can’t believe she’s “cheering” for cool weather, which would slow down the tulips.

Tulip Time still is weeks away, May 7th through 14th in Holland.

Tulip Time executive director Gwen Auwerda tells The Holland Sentinel she’s not alarmed because a variety of bulbs were planted last fall. She says some develop early while other will pop up later.

Holland’s high temperatures in March have been running about three degrees warmer than usual.


3.8.16:  Holland starts fundraising for $11M Civic Center overhaul



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — The city of Holland has started fundraising for an $11 million plan to overhaul its Civic Center.

The Holland Sentinel reports a $2 million donation from Jim and Eileen Heeringa kicked off the latest effort to renovate the complex. City officials expect to pay some of the total with bonds and some with further donations and grants.

A dozen public meetings on the project have taken place since last year. An October groundbreaking is planned and it’s expected to open in two years.

Designers plan to present the final design proposal to city council next week. It’s expected to include an indoor-outdoor and year-round market as well as a renovated gym, new bleachers, a multi-use space, new restrooms, new offices and other updates.


3.8.16:  Juke Van Oss, longtime Holland radio host, dies at 92



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan radio host who talked about the town of Holland and beyond with listeners for more than six decades has died.

WHTC-AM Market Manager Kevin Oswald said that Julius “Juke” Van Oss, the station’s longtime “Talk of the Town” host, died Monday at 92. His last show was Friday.

Oswald says Van Oss “made it seem as though he were sitting down talking to you.”

Oss told The Grand Rapids Press in 2006 his show was like “people speaking over the back fence.”

He joined the station in 1951 as an engineer, and his on-air work started shortly thereafter. He started co-hosting “Talk of the Town” in 1959 and went solo in 1981.

Van Oss was inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2009.


3.3.16:  Michigan city with Dutch heritage removing ‘welkom’ signs



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan city that’s known for its Dutch heritage is removing signs that greeted visitors with a “welkom.”

The Holland Sentinel reports four new, more modern gateway signs are part of a rebranding campaign for the city of Holland. The Holland Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of removing gateway signs that used the Dutch spelling of “welcome.”

The new gateway signs will stand nearly 13-feet tall, featuring crisscrossed lines that symbolize lines of tulip fields and windmill blades.

Holland Community and Neighborhood Services Director Joel Dye says: “The goal was to still celebrate our heritage, but not be 1860.”

The newspaper says some of the old gateway signs are 30 years old. Over the next several years, about 125 new signs will be installed in Holland.


2.1.16:  City workers help fix up carousel at Windmill Island Gardens



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — The Dutch carousel at Windmill Island Gardens in Holland is in better shape thanks to the work of city mechanics who usually fix plow trucks and other city vehicles.

The Holland Sentinel reports the carousel’s drive wheel was cracked and dry and the entire driveshaft needed repair.

Holland’s transportation director Brian White says mechanics Barry Wassink and Jeff Smit worked on the project. White says: “Oftentimes, our mechanics go unnoticed … but it’s projects like this that showcase their abilities and the capabilities we have at the city.”

The mechanics rebuilt the driveshaft with modern parts.

The hand-painted carousel is undergoing restoration by local artists. It was built in 1908 and bought in the 1970s by the city of Holland, which is known for its Dutch heritage.


1,27,16:  Decades later, western Michigan library gets book back



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A book has been returned to a library in western Michigan — 49 years later.

The borrower told the library that he was a college student in 1967 when he checked out a book about World War II from the Herrick library in Holland. He wrote in a letter that the book was stored in a trunk that hadn’t been opened until recently. He also provided a donation with his letter.

Library director Diane Kooiker declined to identify the title of the book or the man’s name, citing privacy. She said he sent $100.

In his letter, the man described it as a “modest donation” on what could be a “tremendous fine.”

Kooiker says honest people sometimes can misplace a book.


1-26-15 Get Your Mouth Checked to Fight Cancer

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A dentist’s office in western Michigan is offering patients the opportunity to help fight blood cancer when they get their teeth cleaned.

The Holland Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1PznMiP ) reports that the staff at Huisman Family Dentistry in Holland plans to ask patients if they would like to submit a cheek swab to register as a potential bone marrow donor in the national registry.

Patient care coordinator Linda Cooper, who lost a young child to leukemia 21 years ago, started the effort. She tells the newspaper that other workers in the dentist’s office also have relatives who have been affected by cancer.

Huisman Family Dentistry is working with the organization Delete Blood Cancer DKMS to offer the registration to patients and the community.