10.2.14:  Son connected with mom’s death


A 50-year-old man is now considered the primary suspect in the homicide of his mother.  The body of Sharon Roersma was found in the Grand River in Polkton Township earlier this week.


An autopsy showed that she was killed before she was placed in the water.  A few hours later her son called police to report that she was  missing from her home.


Michael Roersma was taken to jail for a probation violation and later charged with lying to police.

10.2.14:   Act of Congress blocks casino shutdown


WAYLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — An Indian tribe says a special act of Congress will block efforts to shut down a Native American casino in Michigan.


The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe, this week announced the update about the casino in Wayland Township, 20 miles south of Grand Rapids.


The Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act signed by President Barack Obama last month strips federal courts of authority to hear the case. The newspaper says it follows legislation introduced by Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan in 2013.


The casino opened in 2011. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 upheld a lower court decision to allow casino foe David Patchak to sue to shut the casino down. The case is pending.


10.2.14:  Police help out deer trapped on softball field


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A young deer that couldn’t find its way out of a softball field got a helping hand from police in western Michigan.


Officers Ryan Bruggink and Josh Mollan were dispatched to Plaster Creek Family Park in Grand Rapids on Wednesday when a caller reported the animal was trapped on the fenced field. The buck ran as they tried to get it through an opening.


Bruggink ended up chasing the deer, tiring the animal out. When it laid down near home plate Bruggink picked it up and carried it about 100 yards into the woods. The buck ran off.


The department posted a short video of Bruggink carrying the buck on its Facebook page.

10.2.14:  Michigan man dies when crushed by boat


PORT SHELDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Ottawa County authorities say a man has died after being crushed between a boat and a steel shelf in a garage.


The sheriff’s office says 60-year-old Raymond Van Heuvelen of West Olive died Wednesday at Holland Hospital after suffering a chest injury in the accident.


Sgt. Kevin Allman says Van Heuvelen was helping back his boat into the garage when he stepped behind it and was caught between its swim platform and the shelf.


The incident is under investigation.



 9.30.14:  15-year-old hit by car


Police say a 15-year-old from Muskegon suffered critical injuries Monday night after being struck by a vehicle along a Crockery Township roadside.


Cameron Smallegan had been walking with a group of friends along State Road when the group was approached by a westbound Plymouth neon.  The car was driven by a 50-year-old woman from Muskegon.


Cameron was taken to the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

9.30.14: Anglers find woman’s body floating in Grand River


OLKTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman’s body was found in the Grand River near Coopersville.


Ottawa County sheriff’s Capt. Mark Bennett says two anglers were launching their boat Monday morning when they saw the body floating in several feet of water in Ottawa County’s Polkton Township.


The area often is used to launch boats and is popular with anglers.


Monday afternoon police got a call from an area man saying his mother was missing from a residence on Ann Street in Coopersville.  The victim in the water ended up being the missing woman.  She was identified as 72-year-old Sharon Roersma.


Her death was ruled as a homicide.  Police say she was struck and died before she was put into the river.  She body had not been in the river long before it was discovered.



9.29.14:  Number of bad weekend accidents in West Michigan


-59-year-old Douglas Deridder died when his motorcycle hit the guardrail along I-196 near Lake Michigan Drive in Grand Rapids. Alcohol could have played a role.


-4 people were injured in a head-on crash southeast of Hastings.  The at-fault driver had a suspended license.  He crossed the center line and hit a van.


-A bicyclist was hit along Hanna Lake Avenue in Gaines Township when a vehicle turned into the path of the 48-year-old man from Kentwood.


-A 17-year-old from Coopersville was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle at Conran Drive and West Randall.


-A 67-year-old bicyclist was killed following a collision with a mini-van near Augusta.

9.25.14:  Driver who fatally struck cyclist dies in crash


MERRILL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a man struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash in western Michigan was the driver in a summertime crash that killed a Grand Rapids bicyclist.


The Grand Rapids Press reports that 61-year-old Steven Jones was killed Wednesday morning while walking in Newaygo County’s Merrill Township. Undersheriff Brian Boyd said there were no witnesses and the vehicle left.


Boyd confirmed Jones was the SUV driver in the July 9th crash along Egypt Valley that killed Jeff Dykehouse, an area photographer.


Jones had been held overnight at the Kent County Jail on suspicion of drunken driving. Officials say a recently completed toxicology report found no drugs or alcohol in his system.


Boyd says police aren’t jumping to conclusions that “this is retribution” but will “look at every aspect of this.”

9.23.14:  Carter: Civilian risk if US bombs Islamic State


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP)€” Former President Jimmy Carter says a U.S. bombing attack against the Islamic State forces in Iraq could end up killing more civilians than militants unless there are American spotters on the ground.


The 39th president and his wife Rosalynn spoke for about 45 minutes Monday as part of Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series.


The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner addressed a range of topics and answered student questions.


Carter says U.S. bombers attacking a city controlled by the Islamic State “are very likely to kill more civilians than ISIS members.” He says it’s important to have U.S. spotters for such bombings.


Carter has written 28 books, including “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.” It was released in March.

9.22.14:  Jimmy Carter to visit Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter is to appear in Grand Rapids at a lecture and book signing.


The 39th president and his wife, Rosalynn, are scheduled to visit Monday as part of Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series. It’s the 20th anniversary of the series and the college’s 100th anniversary.


The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is to lecture for about 45 minutes before a question-and-answer session.


He has written 28 books, including “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.” It was released in March.


The lecture is free to attend but tickets need to be reserved in advance. Tickets for the signing are $28 and include a copy of Carter’s book.