Grand Haven Tribune

March 25, 2017

The Grand Haven Tribune - A Michigan newspaper with comprehensive Local News and multi-media from all around West Michigan and the Lakeshore

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Call us today! 231-740-9298 $449,900 Open House SUNDAY 1 to 3 PM 510 Miller Dr., Grand Haven,MI 49417 18672 W Spring Lake Road TRIBUNE the GRAND HAVEN ★ SPRING LAKE ★ FERRYSBURG 124 THE BIG # Signatures needed to get Ferrysburg parks question on ballot. CONNECT WITH US facebook.com/GHTribune twitter.com/GHTribune TOP 3 STORIES New development eyed for Bil-Mar site 1 School bus driver ticketed for SLT crash 2 National travel magazine names GH a top 5 place to retire 3 at grandhaventribune.com THANK YOU Shannon Marie Smith For being our FACEBOOK of the day! WEATHER Cloudy, milder sct'd showers BY CONNER SYLVESTER 56 43 HIGH LOW TOMORROW'S PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED INSIDE TODAY'S TRIBUNE OPEN HOUSE TO DISCUSS UPCOMING GRAND AVE. CONSTRUCTION SEE STORY, PAGE 3 $1.25 SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2017 | | www.ghtrib.com A citizens group that hopes to prevent a nature preserve and other city-owned parks from being sold has organized a ballot initiative to amend the Ferrysburg City Charter. Members of the Save the Ferrysburg Nature Preserve group need 124 signatures to place the question of amending the charter on the November ballot, according to Regina Sjoberg, a Ferrysburg City Council member who supports saving the 43-acre parcel that many South Holiday Hills neighbors use for hiking, dog walking and other recreational purposes. Sjoberg said the current City Charter states that a park may not be sold without a three- fifths majority vote of the electors "when such a park is required under an official master plan of the city." But Sjoberg noted that no parks are required, and that the city's Master Plan is not even a legally binding document. A master plan serves as a guide for future planning and in no way dictates actions, she said. The proposed char ter amendment would eliminate any master plan park "requirement," which would allow citizens to vote on potential city-owned park sales. Sjoberg said she is not involved in circulating the petitions, but she is a member of the Save the Ferrysburg Nature Preserve group, which she said has more than 600 members. Petition circulating to protect city parks FERRYSBURG Perhaps it's not one of the more difficult or obscure words, but spelling "legislation" correctly qualified Lakeshore Middle School seventh-grader Aashray Mandala for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The national spell-off will take place near Washington, D.C., in late May. It is generally broadcast by ESPN. Mandala recently competed in 25 rounds of the Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee against students from six West Michigan counties. Advancing to the national bee has been a goal of Mandala's since he was in fourth grade. "It seems cool I get to represent Michigan," he said. "It's cool and it's an honor. I might get to be on ESPN, which is an extra bonus." Lakeshore Middle School Principal Kevin Polston said it's a tremendous honor for Mandala to compete at the national level, and they're proud of his efforts in and out of school. When Mandala isn't spending 30 minutes to an hour each day studying spelling, he's devoting several hours a week to work on four Science Olympiad events for the White Pines Intermediate School team. During the regional Science Olympiad competition, he received first place for Reach for the Stars, second place for Ecology, fifth place for Meteorology and sixth place for Anatomy. Mandala has earned high school credit for algebra and algebra 2, and the middle- schooler is currently taking pre-calculus and geometry. He also participates in Hope College's Program for the Academically Talented and plays the violin. Tribune photo/Krystle Wagner Lakeshore Middle School seventh-grader Aashray Mandala will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in late May. Lakeshore student advances to National Spelling Bee EDUCATION Tribune photo/Alex Doty Work has started on the new Dollar General store on Mercury Drive in Grand Haven Township. The store will be located between the Wesco gas station, 14750 Mercury Drive, and Mercury Store & Lock, 13888 148th Ave. Dollar General construction begins Tribune photo/Alex Doty The Grand Haven Township Planning Commission approved the site plan late last year. G RAND HAVEN TWP. — Work is under- way on a new retail establishment along Mercury Drive in the township. "Dollar General has broken ground this week to construct a 9,200-square-foot building on Mercury Drive, between the Wesco gas station and the Mercury Store & Lock," Township Manager Bill Cargo said. The Grand Haven Township Planning Commission approved the Dollar General project in December 2016. Township planning officials say the building will include private septic and a drain field, 38 parking spaces, a loading zone in the rear yard, and connection to the municipal water supply. "A lane closure on Mercury Drive will occur toward the end of April to connect municipal water," Cargo said," but the lane closure is not expected to last more than one week." Township officials have said the new Dollar General is expected to open by mid-summer. BUSINESS BY ALEX DOTY adoty@grandhaventribune.com See PARKS on PAGE 3 BY MARIE HAVENGA mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com BY KRYSTLE WAGNER kwagner@grandhaventribune.com See SPELLING on PAGE 3

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