Grand Haven Tribune

September 30, 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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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 50¢ Weekday, $1.00 Saturday www.grandhaventribune.com Page 7 GH equestrian wins fourth straight regional title SPORTS INSIDE: Kids' paralysis linked to virus See Story, Page 6 INSIDE: A local look at cross issue See Opinion, Page 4 Tomorrow's Weather Mostly sunny and milder High 68 Low 47 2013 Newspaper of the Year Pharmacy Your prescriptions filled by pharmacists that care Pharmacy Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-7pm; Saturday 9am-2pm Sunday Closed Ferrysburg (616) 842-4706 The Spring Lake High School Marching Band received high honors this past weekend during several band competitions. At the Kenowa Hills Classic, Spring Lake came in first in Class B with a score of 87.8 and captured awards for best music, marching and percussion At the Grand Haven Invitational, the band placed first in Class B with a score of 84.6 and captured awards for best music. They were also named Grand Champion of the invitational for having the highest score of all the bands, regardless of class. Tribune photo/Wendy Swenson Spring Lake High School Marching Band drum major Catie Hermanson and the rest of the 127 member band had a strong showing this past weekend during competitions at Kenowa Hills and Grand Haven high schools. The band placed first in their class at both events, and was named Grand Champion at the Grand Haven Invitational. SL band wins again Bur Oak Landing West Bur Oak Landing East Body found Bass River Recreational Area Leonard St. 84th Ave. Oriole Dr. 90th Ave. Body discovered Body discovered Fishermen find woman, clad in PJs, in Grand River BY BECKY VARGO bvargo@grandhaventribune.com POLKTON TWP. — Police checked footprints, tire tracks and anything they could find to help determine how, when or where a woman entered the Grand River over the weekend. Hours later, the quest to determine the woman's identification turned into a murder investigation. Ottawa County Sheriff 's Capt. Mark Bennett said an autopsy revealed the woman died from head trauma prior to being placed in the river. Shortly after the woman's body was removed from the scene, a Coopersville man reported his 72-year- old mother missing from her Ann Street home in Coopersville, Bennett said. It's believed she was the person found in the river, the detective said. Her name was not being released pending positive identification. Two fishermen launching a boat at the street-end ramp discovered the woman's body shortly after 10 a.m. Monday near the end of 90th Avenue. The site is adjacent to Ottawa County's Bur Oak Landing park and across the river from the Bass River Recreation Area. The west side of the road is unimproved parkland open space, designated only by a covered sign with a map at the side of the road. Tribune photos/Becky Vargo ABOVE: Police and firefighters prepare to move the body of a 72-year-old woman found floating in the Grand River off 90th Avenue Monday morning. Police are investigating the incident as a murder following an autopsy that took place Monday afternoon. BELOW: A fisherman who discovered the floating body watches from the bed of his pickup truck as police discuss what needs to be done. He was one of many who watched as police investigated the scene. See BODY on Page 3 BY MARIE HAVENGA mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com SPRING LAKE — A chilling rain pelted the parking lot as Nancy Nielsen and Candy Hitsman exited a Harbor Transit public forum at the Spring Lake District Library Monday night. The Spring Lake residents had brought themselves to the library to learn more about the Harbor Transit ballot issue facing Village and Township voters on Nov. 4 — whether or not to approve a levy of up to 0.7 mills to expand on-demand bus service to Spring Lake Township. Nielsen arrived in her motorized wheelchair and Hitsman walked. But when Harbor Transit Executive Director Tom Manderscheid saw the rain, he offered the two women a ride home on the bus that was in the parking lot Monday night for public tours. "They don't live far," Manderscheid said of the unscheduled after-hours service. Manderscheid, Nielsen and Hitsman hope there are many more currently unscheduled rides coming down the road — as in expanded service in the township. Nielsen said she uses Harbor Transit "sometimes two to three times a day." She often visits her son in Spring Lake Township, but because service stops at the village limits, she gets off at Central Park and walks the rest of the way with her walker to her son's house off Railroad Avenue. Nielsen wasn't alone voicing her support for expanded service, which if approved by voters would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $60 per year under the initial 0.6 mill levy, the same amount being paid by Spring Lake Village, Grand Haven, Ferrysburg and Grand Haven Township taxpayers. Harbor Transit officials clarified that even though village residents will vote on the five-year ballot proposal, they will not pay the millage twice. Only township residents would be subject to the new 0.6- mill levy. Village tax rates would remain the same. Spring Lake Township resident Lois Osterbaan said she takes her daughter, Jill, to her job as a school aid in Grand Haven and picks her up three hours later. She said it takes a lot of gas. The Osterbaan family sat in the back of the meeting room Monday with Jill's service dog, Divvy, laying by her side. "This is something we've hoped and wished for for many years," Jill told the audience. "It would mean a lot to our family." Many others spoke in favor of adding 10.6 square miles of service to the existing 39 square miles Harbor Transit currently covers. Tamara Shielett said she is legally blind from wet macular degeneration and has to walk to Central Park to catch the bus. She said that's fine on dry days, but not so tolerable when it's snowing and she is lugging groceries. "I use it every single day," Shielett said. "This is my life." But not everyone at Monday's forum was in favor of expanding the service, the first such expansion proposal since Grand Haven Township joined two years ago. Village resident Tom Craig said he is sympathetic toward the disabled and senior residents who desire Tribune photo/Marie Havenga Harbor Transit Operations Manager Anthony Dionise straps in Village resident Nancy Nielsen and her electric wheelchair after a public forum at Spring Lake District Library. Nielsen, who was attending an informational meeting about the proposed bus service expansion in Spring Lake Township, caught the after-hours ride home on the bus because it was raining. Making the case for expansion of Harbor Transit See TRANSIT on Page 3

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