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MSP: Driver killed after losing control, hitting ambulance


SPARTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- One person has died in multi-vehicle accident on M-37 involving a Life EMS ambulance, Michigan State Police said.

The crash happened around 12 p.m. Wednesday near 15 Mile Road.

Michigan State Police said the man who died is Douglas Lee Westra, 63 of Newaygo. Westra had been driving north on M-37 as traffic ahead of him was slowing down for the approaching, southbound ambulance, which had its lights and siren on. Westra went off the road to try avoiding traffic and lost control on the gravel shoulder. His vehicle then entered the lane and hit the ambulance. The collision pushed his vehicle into a third vehicle that had been following, MSP said. Westra was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sparta PD investigating business break-ins, seeks tips


SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Sparta Police Department is asking for assistance from the public on identifying a suspect in several business break-ins.

The incidents happened last summer, in July and August, at Hickory's Auto Body, Maxine's Family Restaurant (the location of the surveillance video), Jacobsen's Floral & Greenhouse, Studio G Hair Salon and Tanning, and Superior International. All the incidents occurred well after dark.

The suspect is described as a white man in his late 20's to mid-30's, 5'10" to 6', with a medium build. He rode a bicycle, and investigators believe he lived in the Sparta area at the time of the crimes.

Anyone who may recognize this subject should call the Sparta Police Department at 616-887-7331 or Silent Observer at 616-454-9110.


Freedom Cruise Honor Ride remembers Navy SEAL David Warsen


SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Dozens of motorcycles and classic cars traveled from north and south to downtown Sparta Thursday evening for the Freedom Cruise Honor Ride remembering fallen Navy SEAL David Warsen.

One group of riders came from Davenport University south of Grand Rapids. The other came from Newaygo.

Warsen, from Kentwood, died in the line of duty in 2012. He and 10 others were killed when their helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan.

His family participated in events in Sparta Thursday evening. They were presented with a special flag.

In addition to the ceremony, there were bands, food, and family entertainment.

Freedom Cruise events last all weekend, including a Saturday night concert at the new amphitheater at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Warsen was honored again before the concert, when a portrait of him was unveiled.

2nd Annual Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Benefit Run

2nd Annual Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Benefit Run

On Saturday, July 18, 2015, the VFW Post 4249 of Newaygo will be hosting the Michigan Knights of Columbus 4th Degree District 4, 2nd Annual Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Benefit Run.

Runners are asked to meet at 3000 Monroe Ave NE in Grand Rapids, MI at 9:00am. Ride to the VFW in Newaygo, leaving at 11:30am.

A $25 donation covers food, fun and a raffle ticket. There will also be music, prizes and refreshments.

You may call David Reese at 616-446-0726 for more information.

Let's go to Bat for Kids Ballgame June 25th

Let's go to Bat for Kids Ballgame June 25th

Let’s Go to Bat for Kids!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015 is the day to be at 5/5 Ballpark at 5:30. Bring all the kids, admission is FREE. Parking is $6 per car but the evening includes children’s games and activities along the concourse, local mascots and a fun night at the ballpark.

In 2014, Catholic Charities of West Michigan welcomed over 4500 West Michigan fans for this event. Let’s see if we can break that record this year, 2015. This event benefits the family strengthening programs of CCWM that help keep families together here in our community.

This ballgame is played by clergy, religious leaders on the Padres team and media celebrities on the Media Giants team.

Come on out to the Ballpark located at 4500 W. River Dr. NE in Comstock Park, MI 49321. More info at bstowe@ccwestmi.org or phone 616-551-5663.

ChoiceOne Bank awards Scholarship Money

ChoiceOne Bank awards Scholarship Money

ChoiceOne Bank awarded scholarships to seniors from 11 different high schools again this year including Sparta, Kent City, Rockford, Cedar Springs, Kenowa Hills, Eggleston, Oakridge, Ravenna, Newaygo, Coopersville and Grant. One senior from each school won a $500 scholarship after writing a 300 word essay, “What does your community mean to you?”

“We value the youth in our communities,” said James Bosserd, President and CEO of ChoiceOne Bank. “It is our hope that our students return to their roots to raise their families once they have completed their college studies and grow their businesses. This scholarship contest helps our youth to think about the importance of community, especially as they graduate from high school. It’s a local thing.”

Included in this article are just 5 of the 11 students who received scholarship money. Congratulations to all students who participated.

Man killed in Algoma Twp. crash identified


ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) --Algoma Township, Mich. (WZZM) - Neighbors say drivers frequently disobey the stop sign on Indian Lakes Road at Pine Island Drive in Algoma Township.

Thursday afternoon 39 year old Terrance Gage of Cedar Springs was killed when deputies say he sped through the stop sign and his jeep collided with a car headed north on Pine Island.