Grand Haven Tribune

January 18, 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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TRIBUNE the GRAND HAVEN ★ SPRING LAKE ★ FERRYSBURG 75¢ WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2017 | | 9 PAGE 7 THE BIG # Team blocks by the Grand Haven girls basketball team against West Ottawa. CONNECT WITH US facebook.com/GHTribune twitter.com/GHTribune TOP 3 STORIES Fire destroys office building at Spring Meadow Nursery 1 Nelson named head football coach at GHHS 2 West Olive woman escapes serious injury, long night in ditch 3 at grandhaventribune.com THANK YOU Amber Haines Ball For being our FACEBOOK of the day! WEATHER Mostly sunny, milder, overnight rain BY JACAB GUNDY 43 30 HIGH LOW TOMORROW'S www.ghtrib.com 2015 NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR GHAPS SUPERINTENDENT RECEIVES GLOWING REVIEW SEE STORY, PAGE 2 GH GIRLS HOOPS CRUISES PAST WEST OTTAWA SEE STORY, PAGE 7 The trial of a former local girls softball coach charged with sexually assaulting one of his players is on hold pending a decision by a state court on a defense appeal. Thomas Barnes G a l l o w a y , 4 5 , remains lodged in the Ottawa County Jail on a $500,000 bond. The Spring Lake man's trial was scheduled to begin Jan. 24. A new trial date will not be set until the Michigan Court of Appeals makes its decision on the case. Galloway faces a minimum of 25 years and up to life in prison if convicted of the criminal sexual conduct charge. The girl was 13 when the incident allegedly occurred in 2012. Galloway was arrested in March 2016, after the incident was reported to and investigated by the Ottawa County Sheriff 's Department. Charges were authorized and Galloway posted bond. The defendant was brought back to court three times for violating bond conditions before bond was raised to the $500,000 mark in November 2016. Galloway has remained in jail since that time, despite an attempt by his attorney, John Moritz, to get bond reduced. Now that there is no time frame in site for a trial, Moritz said he is considering making another motion for bond reduction. Moritz filed an interlocutory appeal on Jan. 3, regarding two decisions made late last year in Ottawa County Circuit Court. An interlocutory appeal is an appeal on rulings regarding evidence that needs to be decided prior to trial, Moritz said. On Nov. 18, 2016, Ottawa County Judge Ed Post denied a defense motion to suppress a cellphone used by Galloway to be placed into evidence. During the same time frame, Post granted a prosecution motion to allow other acts as Galloway trial postponed pending evidence appeal COURTS During a four-hour marathon meeting Monday night with much public comment, Ferrysburg City Council took a step toward allowing the fate of city-owned park land to be decided by the city's voters. Councilwoman Regina Sjoberg asked staff to place on the Feb. 6 agenda a proposed charter amendment that would require a public vote to sell any park, whether designated as such in the city's Master Plan or not. According to the City Charter, a two-thirds majority of Ferrysburg voters must approve the sale of designated park land. Because the Ferrysburg Nature Preserve is not a designated park in the city's Master Plan, it doesn't qualify for a ballot initiative and can be sold at the discretion of City Council. After Sjoberg 's request, Councilman Mike DeWitt asked that staff also put on the Feb. 6 agenda a proposal to put an issue on the ballot to consider selling the Ferrysburg Nature Preserve near South Holiday Hills. City Manager Craig Bessinger said he will check with the city attorney on both requests. Bessinger said a charter amendment ballot proposal could likely be on the November ballot. He said he's also "looking to see if it's possible" to place the Ferrysburg Nature Preserve sale proposal on the May ballot. "We're preparing information to get to the city attorney for him to review," Bessinger said. "It's the request from council members to have those two items on the agenda. We'll put them on the council agenda for Feb. 6 and see what council does with the proposals." Several council members, including DeWitt, have said the city has a lot of major expenses coming up — noting City Hall and infrastructure repairs, and a new bridge over Smith's Bayou. DeWitt has suggested that some services will need to be cut or the city will need to find other revenue sources, such as funds from selling city-owned land. The city is also considering selling vacant land adjacent to City Hall. DeWitt said recently that the city has maxed out the amount of property tax it can levy since Ferrysburg voters several times have turned down ballot measures that would allow the city millage to Tribune file photo/Marie Havenga Lydia Roessing, 2, holds up a sign at a Ferrysburg City Council meeting this past October, asking council to not cut down trees nor build big buildings on 40 acres of city-owned park land known as the Ferrysburg Nature Preserve. Nature Preserve fate may be decided by voters FERRYSBURG Courtesy photo/Bob Walma Sunshine and ice seemed to be a beacon for people to make their way out onto frozen Lake Michigan at Grand Haven this past Saturday. Local public safety officials warn that there are currents surrounding the pier and that no ice is safe ice. Officials urge caution on ice W ith temperatures expected to climb to near 50 by the end of the week, many will be tempt- ed to explore the ice-covered landscape at the shores of Lake Michigan. Local public safety officials warn that while the icebergs and the piers may be picturesque, they are also extremely dangerous. Photos of people walking on the ice and on or near the Grand Haven south pier have been surfacing over the past week on social media posts. Lt. Clint Holt of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety issues this warning: "No ice is safe ice." "You just don't know what you are venturing on, on Lake Michigan," he said. There are always structural currents around the pier, Holt noted, and the ice is always compromised. Anyone who has traveled on the ice in the same area will likely see big changes in the ice formations in as little as one day. It depends on the wave action and the wind direction. Rain and changing temperatures also have an affect. Holt said the waves of ice off the Grand Haven beaches are actually associated with the sandbars. The bergs the farthest out are the most dangerous, because the water action can lift them off the sandbar and a strong east wind will push them away from shore, he said. In between the icebergs, the low areas that seem safe are actually where rip currents continue to flow, Holt said. "Even when we are going out on training exercises, I've seen our guys go through," Holt said. But at least that incident was observed and help was at hand, if needed. Holt said that's a very important aspect of ice rescues. First, someone needs to see that you're in trouble. Next, they need to call 911. And then, it takes time for officers to get geared up and safely across the ice with any equipment they might need. People should think about that, Holt said, before venturing out on the ice. And think about this: Within a few minutes, a victim in icy water will become hypothermic enough that he or she can't help with his or her own rescue. "You really take your life in your hands when you venture out on that ice," Holt said. If a person falls into the lake from the edge of a crumbling iceberg, they also need to be wary of floating ice. Pack ice of 6-inches thick can equal thousands of pounds. "It can float up and crush you," Holt said. Under the circumstances of floating ice chunks, Holt said they might not even be able to put a rescuer into the water. At that ICE SAFETY You really take your life in your hands when you venture out on that ice." — Lt. Clint Holt Dog rescued after falling through ice See Story, Page 3 BY BECKY VARGO bvargo@grandhaventribune.com BY BECKY VARGO bvargo@grandhaventribune.com BY MARIE HAVENGA mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com See SAFETY on PAGE 3 Galloway See TRIAL on PAGE 3 See NATURE on PAGE 3

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