Grand Haven Tribune

April 23, 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, april 23, 2014 50ยข Weekday, $1.00 Saturday Page 9 GH girls track runs past Panthers SPORTS INSIDE: Religion and mental illness See Opinion, Page 4 INSIDE: Ships Log is back See Column, Page 3 Tomorrow's Weather Partly cloudy and AM shower? High 63 Low 40 Grand Haven Tribune Keep up with breaking news 24/7 at 2013 Newspaper of the Year MH-0097 GENERAL HOSPITAL IS PART OF MERCY HEALTH. Your voice. Our expertise. MERCY HEALTH MUSKEGON: Mercy | Hackley | General | Lakeshore | Johnson Family Cancer Center | Lakes Village | Mercy Health Physician Partners For a complete listing of Mercy Health locations, visit MH206_10.25x1.5_MU_General_0097.indd 1 4/3/14 8:39 AM By Krystle Wagner Local high schools are ranked among the best in the state and nation, but not quite has high as a year earlier. After reviewing data from more than 19,400 high schools throughout the country, including 873 in Michigan, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Spring Lake High School 19th and Grand Haven High School 25th in Michigan on its "Best High Schools" list. However, that's down from 2013 when they were ranked 10th and 22nd, respectively. In this year's national standings, Spring Lake High School ranked 747th and Grand Haven High School was No. 813. Last year, Spring Lake was No. 641 and Grand Haven was No. 897 in the nation. Recognized schools throughout the country received Gold, Silver or Bronze medals for performance on state assessments and college readiness. Both Spring Lake and Grand Haven are among 9 percent of high schools to receive Silver medals in the nation. For the past eight years that the report has been conducted, Spring Lake High School has been ranked among the top 20 high schools in the state, Principal Mike Gilchrist said. "It's quite an honor to be on that list every year since they've done it," he said. Grand Haven High School Principal Tracy Wilson said she is extremely proud of her staff and students for attaining the accomplishment. She said the award demonstrates that they continue to have an excellent program on a statewide and national level. "Our staff and students work exceptionally hard to continue to uphold our 'Tradition of Excellence,' which is an expectation of our parents and community," Wilson said. For the 2014 rankings, U.S. News worked with American Institutes for Research, a Schools make the grade Tribune file photo/Krystle Wagner grand Haven High school orchestra students play during class. See grade on Page 3 By BecKy Vargo bvargo@grandhaventribune Duncan Memorial Park's caretaker for the past 10 years, Bob DeHare, said he won't be doing the seasonal job this year because the city is unable to access the funds to pay him. Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis said the city's pub- lic works crews will be taking over main- tenance of the park. The issue is the result of a series of lawsuits and rulings related to the death of a Nunica child from injuries he suffered while sledding at the park in 2009. While review- ing one of the law- suits, an Ottawa County Circuit Court judge ruled the park belonged to the city and not to the park's trust, thus giving govern- mental immunity to the park trustees at the time โ€“ Ed Lystra, Jerry Scott and Rodney Griswold. A separate lawsuit target- ing DeHare was set aside pending an appeal. After the Circuit Court decision, the city formed a new, five-member Duncan Park Commission that kept DeHare on as its caretaker. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in March that the trust, not the city, owned the park. McGinnis said that rul- ing caused a lot of confu- sion about what should be done with the park โ€” and, in the meantime, the city attorney advised the city that it could not access park funds, which are held by the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. DeHare can't be hired as a part-time parks work- er for the city because of union restrictions, the city manager said. Several years ago, offi- cials were already having discussions with the for- mer Duncan Park com- missioners about the pos- sibility of the city taking over the park when the fatal sledding incident happened, McGinnis said. The park commissioners at the time had not met for more than two years, he said. Chance Nash, 11, died from injuries he suffered when his sled ran into a snow- covered stump at the park on Dec. 31, 2009. McGinnis pointed out a license agreement between the Duncan Park Commission and the city in 1994 allows the city to use the park "solely for the benefit of the people of Grand Haven and for no other purposes." Because of the license, McGinnis said the current commis- sion will continue to over- see operations to make sure the park is run in the manner set forward in the deed establishing the trust. The deed also notes Frozen park funds force caretaker out DeHare See ParK on Page 3 Lauren Nicles, 7 "earth day means to me that all day I want to pick up trash." McKenna Hoogewind, 9 "I like to pick up stuff, and I like to make the earth a better place." Tori Fouchea, 9 "Cleaning up our planet." Amelia Ernzer, 7 "Just picking up trash and making the earth healthy." YOU SAID IT: Q: "What does Earth Day mean to you?" Cleaning the earth By Krystle Wagner SPRING LAKE โ€” Cigarettes and candy wrappers were among the items removed from local parks and bike paths on Tuesday. In honor of Earth Day, more than 250 volunteers worked together during the Bike Path Clean Up run by the Holmes Parents Club and the Jeffers Parents Organization. Volunteers cleaned up Tribune photo/Krystle Wagner Hannah ernzer holds a bag while her sister, gillian, discards a piece of garbage during the earth Day Bike Path clean Up event in the spring lake area on tuesday. See earTh on Page 3

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