Grand Haven Tribune

November 26, 2014

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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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014 $1.00 Thanksgiving Special Edition www.grandhaventribune.com Page 7 Finals previews 5 Keys for MCC SPORTS INSIDE: Worth keeping carp out? See Opinion, Page 4 NOTICE: The Tribune office will close at 3 p.m. today and is closed all day on Friday. Tomorrow's Weather Mostly cloudy and light snow High 33 Low 24 Grand Haven Tribune Keep up with breaking news 24/7 at www.grandhaventribune.com 2013 & 2014 Newspaper of the Year Stuffed f ull of savings! Get your Black Friday circulars inside today's paper! EXTRA LARGE PAPER BY BECKY VARGO bvargo@grandhaventribune.com ALLENDALE TWP. — Three days before their biggest weekend of the season, Brian and Cim Bosch watched in horror as the large equipment barn at their tree farm burned to the ground Monday night. "We'll just have to regroup," Cim said as she watched a bit of f lame lick around some black- ened debris late Tuesday morning. "We'll still be in operation for Black Friday. It just might be without Santa Claus." Strong winds blew heavy wet snow almost sideways when firefighters responded to the fire at Bosch's Tree Farm, 8075 Pierce St. in Allendale Township, at about 8:45 p.m. Monday. The first firefighters on the scene reported f lames already through the roof of the 75-by-150-foot pole barn. "We tried to make an attempt to save what we could, but with that wind blowing, it was almost impossible," Allendale Township Fire Chief Mike Keefe said Tuesday. Firefighters from nine area departments responded to the call for help at the rural pine tree farm near the intersection of Pierce Street and 84th Avenue. The fire was basically out within an hour, Keefe said. Firefighters spent the next hour moving debris and putting out hot spots. Keefe said the fire is still under investigation, but they have narrowed the cause down to elec- trical or a heat lamp used for baby chickens. The chicks did not survive the fire. Equipment lost in the fire included a boat, tractor, hi-lo, tree-banding equipment, a golf cart and tools. Keefe said a damage estimate was not yet available. Cim Bosch said they also lost a small kitchen area where they made hot chocolate and hot cider for their customers. She said they planned to put up a portable building with generators in order to serve the refreshments. Bosch said they opened a week early this year because the snow had people in the holiday Tree farm sur vives fire Tribune photo/Becky Vargo Cim Bosch looks over the debris of what used to be the equipment barn at Bosch's Tree Farm, 8075 Pierce St. in Allendale Township. The barn burned to the ground in Monday night's blizzard. See TREE on Page 3 BY BECKY VARGO bvargo@grandhaventribune.com OLIVE TWP. — More than a year after being removed from their home, brothers Colton, 3, and James, 2, became a part of the VanBuren family of Holland. Ottawa County Family Court Judge Kent Engle confirmed their adop- tion during a special Adoption Day hearing Tuesday at the county's Fillmore Complex court- house. "We are thoroughly excited," said their father, Michael VanBuren. "It's been a long 400 days. "We are truly blessed to have these boys in our family," added his wife, Amy. Their other children are Emma, 13; Annika, 11; and Christian, 7. Michael VanBuren said his family has been fostering children for about five years. "We knew it was always a possibility to adopt," he said. "God gave us the abilities and the means to be able to open our home to kids in need." Family and friends who filled the court- room applauded the life-changing event and then posed with the fam- ily for pictures. "I got two more grandkids today," smiled Emerson VanBuren of Grand Rapids, who watched the ceremo- ny with his wife, Rose. "We're Nana and Pappy now." The retired policeman said one of the most powerful things he ever experienced in his work was helping remove children from a bad Celebrating family Ottawa County hosts annual Adoption Day Tribune photos/Becky Vargo ABOVE: Michael and Amy VanBuren pose with their children after the successful adoption of brothers Colton, 3, and James, 2 (foreground), on Tuesday morning. Also pictured are the VanBurens' biological children: Annika, 11, Emma, 13, and Christian, 7. BELOW: Veronica Perez watches her husband, Ivan, as he talks about the importance of adoption and foster care during the Adoption Day event Tuesday. The Grand Haven couple have adopted three children and fostered more than 50 in the past 15 years. See FAMILY on Page 3 BY MARIE HAVENGA mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com SPRING LAKE — The village's Planning Commission threw a wet blanket Tuesday night on a rezoning proposal that could have paved the way for a new township fire station. But plans for a stand-alone fire station at the northeast corner of M-104 and Fruitport Road could arise like a phoenix if Village Council overrides the Planning Commission's recommendation to deny the request. Village Council has scheduled a special meeting for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, at Barber School to discuss the proposal. After a majority of residents who commented during Tuesday's public hearing spoke against rezoning the property from "residential" to "public," Commissioner Chip Bonhoff read a motion of denial from Commission Chairwoman Christine Miller's tablet. Miller said after the meeting that she had written the denial language on Monday after reviewing the agenda packet. Miller said she is not against reviewing a site plan for a stand-alone fire station, but she does oppose rezoning the property. She said she prefers that the process follow what the village's Master Plan recommends: a planned unit development proposal. Scott VanStrate was the only commissioner to vote against the denial recommendation Tuesday night. He also serves on Village Council. Council's final rezoning decision is closely tied to another unfolding development: the possibility of Spring Lake Township operations sharing space in Spring Lake Village Hall. Fire hall rezoning rejected Tribune photo/Marie Havenga Spring Lake Village Manager Chris Burns explains a rezoning request Tuesday night that would pave the way for a new township fire station at the northeast cor- ner of M-104 and Fruitport Road. The Village Planning Commission denied the request with a 5-1 vote. See FIRE on Page 2

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