In October of 2004, I secured my first professional news writing job at The Holland Sentinel, a community newspaper in Southwestern Michigan. I wrote daily news, features and briefs, covering city councils and area schools. I also authored a weekly “Neighbors” column, highlighting local leaders and community members.
A complete catalog of all my work is available by clicking here.
Those who knew and loved band director Dean Christopher say his presence was as commanding as the loud sounds that bellowed out of the West Ottawa High School band room. He was a man of high expectations for himself and even higher expectations for his students. Christopher died Thursday at his home after battling brain cancer for just over a year and a half. He was 56.
A 300-pound black Angus steer jumped a fence when its owners tried to put it into a new pasture they built for their animals near M-89. The Sargent family, of Saugatuck Township, bought the animal and three others at an auction six weeks ago. David Sargent, 16, was planning on using the missing animal for a 4-H project and later selling it. "I wanted to show him because the judges like Anguses," he said.
Saugatuck city officials have mapped out the city's course of action in response to a recent report citing the city's serious financial management and cash procedure problems. Progress so far will be presented to council members tonight at Saugatuck City Hall. "It's important, it's needed and we take the report very seriously," said Kirk Harrier, Saugatuck city manager.
Someday Amanda Lemmen might run for public office, but for now the Holland Christian High School senior is happy to teach other young people about local government. "In order to appreciate and understand everything going on around us we have to understand how it works and how it goes. Besides, it's fun," said Lemmen, 18, who was elected Zeeland's new youth mayor on Dec. 19. "I'm really excited and it opens a lot of doors to me..."
Kameka Alexander didn't want dolls, board games, or fancy toys for Christmas. Instead, the 11-year-old from the South American nation of Guyana wanted nothing more than to be able to wear her new purple shoes to match her new purple dress on Christmas Eve. Her wish was granted thanks to the work of Dr. Francois Harton, who volunteered to perform 5½ hours of surgery to correct the girl's club feet, and to Jeff and Heidi DeMoss, who are hosting the child until her rehabilitation is complete.
A dream to bring minor league baseball to Holland may also include a "Miracle Field" for children with disabilities. SunCoast Baseball, the organization working to bring a Northern League franchise to Holland in 2007, has proposed developing a Miracle Field -- a baseball field for the disabled -- near the 4,200-seat stadium it wants to build adjacent to the Holland Town Center. "Even if minor league baseball doesn't happen, this Miracle League will eventually take place..."
Some parishioners of Our Lady of the Lake Church are taking Christmas on the road this year, spreading the holiday spirit far beyond Holland. Fifty-five members of the Catholic church will travel to Biloxi, Miss., on Christmas Day to continue rebuilding Our Mother of Sorrows Church, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. They will return on New Year's Day. An earlier group of Our Lady of the Lake volunteers went to Biloxi over Thanksgiving. "It was God-sent, what they did ..."
With three children in the West Ottawa school district, Dave Herber wants to make sure that while the district grows so does the opportunity to participate in athletics and performing arts. Herber and 13 other parents came to the West Ottawa school board meeting Monday night to urge the district to initiate a plan to establish dual sets of sports teams and performing arts groups at the high school level.
"What's in a name?" Members of the Fennville community are starting to realize that when it comes to naming a new school, the process is a lot more difficult than it seems. At its first meeting Monday night, the Fennville Name the New Elementary School Committee met with school board members to discuss how the community will select the name for the new elementary school building. "This is a pretty cool thing we are getting to do," said Fennville Superintendent Mark Dobias.
Eddie Sou can't wait to go home. He just couldn't go anywhere without a U.S. passport. Sou, 35, of Holland, came to the United States when he was 11 years old when his family fled Cambodia's communist regime. His memories of Cambodia are limited to herding cows and rice fields. "If I were to go back I would have no idea what it is like now," he said. The homeowner, father and husband who became a citizen Friday said he appreciated becoming a full-fledged citizen...
Even though everyone celebrates the holidays a little bit differently, one thing is for sure: Regardless of culture or tradition, almost no one is opposed to cookies. Shoppers at the Blue Star Antique Pavilion in Douglas Sunday had the opportunity to start holiday snacking as vendors displayed their favorite cookies right along side their antiques during the mall's second annual cookie swap. Every 10 feet or so was a different high-calorie concoction smothered in fudge, cheese cake,
By providing a hand crafted bowl, hot soup and bread for only $5.00, Danielle Nguyen-Quang hopes to sell all the bowls she created and raise at least $1,500 for the Red Cross and its Hurricane Katrina relief fund. For Nguyen-Quang, of Holland, her newest art project, Soup for Louisiana, isn't about the artistic display or about a semester of hard work, it is about being able to give.
Nick Baker thought he outgrew his Legos. The Zeeland Cityside Middle School eighth-grader said there was a time when he was sure he was too cool for the small colorful bricks. Now 13, Baker can't get enough of his old toys, especially since he figured out they can be engineered into small robots. "I never thought they could do all this," he said.
Zeeland missionary Phillip Snyder is fulfilling his goal of bringing a child to the U.S. for eye surgery despite having been shot and kidnapped Thursday morning in Haiti. Phillip Snyder was released Friday after negotiations took place with his son, Chad, the FBI and the kidnappers, said his wife, Amber Snyder. She expects her husband to return early this week with Shelton, the Haitian child. "He still needs to get a medical visa lined up for little Shelton," said Amber.
Holiday cheer poured out of the newly restored Felt Mansion in Laketown Township Sunday when the historic landmark opened the doors for its annual holiday tours. The self-guided tours allow visitors to explore the three-story mansion that includes a large foyer, dining room, kitchen, butler's pantry, library, parlor, several bedrooms, bathrooms and a ballroom. Mary Holstege, 55, of Zeeland, visited the mansion during its holiday opening last year. ...
An early morning fire tore through a Park Township apartment complex Sunday, leaving the residents of 14 units homeless. No one was injured in the 3:45 a.m. fire in the two-story Ottawa Beach Apartments at the corner of Waukazoo Drive and Ottawa Beach Road, but the entire building was left most likely uninhabitable. Residents waited and watched in the parking lot of the Mobil station across the street from the complex as their homes burned. "I was kind of numb I guess," ...
For members of the West Ottawa High School cast of "Anything Goes," theater and service are closely intertwined. Cast members took their show on the road Sunday performing musical bits and serving lunch to residents at the Pine Ridge Assisted Living Facility in West Olive Township. They hoped to give the residents at Pine Ridge a few laughs and smiles. "Performing is about getting the admiration and respect of the community; that's the point of theater..."
James McDonough and his wife went to bed Friday night with three pets at their sides. Saturday night there were only two. The Olive Township resident says a neighbor shot his 10-month old German Shepherd, Manni, around 4 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Tyler and 128th streets after two of McDonough's three dogs got loose in their neighborhood. "Our dogs are like an extension, they are like our kids, we love them, we miss them, we hurt when they hurt, they are just a part of us..."
A barge stuck at Holland State Park was removed early Sunday morning from the beach. The barge became stuck on Friday after a tug boat pulling two barges suffered engine failure. "The whole evolution went very smoothly," said Joel Loverti, petty officer for the U.S. Coast Guard. The tug boat Holly Ann, out of Holly Marine Towing in Chicago, towed the remaining beached barge through Lake Macatawa to the Lake Michigan Contractors dock where the other barge was towed to Friday.
The front window of the Frost household has become a shrine to the U.S. military. Surrounding a sticker of the American flag and the words "Freedom Isn't Free" are "proud parent" stickers. Not the kind that brag of an honor roll student, but the kind that read "I'm the proud parent of a Marine." With two sons in the Marines and another in the Navy, Michael and Faith Frost of Zeeland hope their shrine never has to be turned into a memorial.
All aboard By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Nov. 14, 2005
Just because you are a grown up doesn't mean you have to put away all your toys. You just can't call it playtime anymore. It has to be called a hobby. Holland Modular Railroad Club member Jim Vourlitis of Holland agrees. Besides, it's too hard to play with a real locomotive, he said. But train enthusiasts have come up with the next best thing. A model train show held Sunday at the Holland Civic Center displayed a 12-by-32-foot model train...
With winds gusts of up to 62 miles per hour reported at the Port Sheldon Consumers Energy plant and 55 miles per hour at Tulip City Airport on Sunday, work crews worked through the day to restore power and repair lines and poles damaged by fallen tree branches and debris. Holland Board of Public Works plant operator Garry Wagner estimated that several hundred residents in BPW's coverage area were without power Sunday night.
While just about everyone else around Holland bundled up with coats and scarves in the face of Sunday's cold winds, Ross Nave and Mark Bale were rejoicing in the weather. With wind gusts reaching speeds of 55 mph, the two friends woke up Sunday and decided that it was a great day for surfing. "We wanted to get out this morning," said Nave, 22, a Hope College senior, after getting out of the water across the channel from Holland State Park. "The waves were huge."
The Nykerk Cup was created 71 years ago to give Hope College women an activity similar to the Pull, the annual tug-of-war competition between Hope's freshman and sophomore men. "When Nykerk was created, it was a different time in society," said Ellen Awad, coordinator of student activities at the college. "This competition was the more prim and proper way for the women to compete as opposed to the men who get down in the mud." Seventy-one years later, women have more freedom,
Karen Donker calls them "possibility people" -- the mentors who make childhood dreams come true. A new 16½-foot mural dedicated on Sunday at Lakewood Elementary School celebrates just those people. The Kids Hope USA chapter at Fellowship Reformed Church commissioned Grand Rapids artist Carla Roeda to paint the mural, using memorial funds donated after the passing of three of its original members -- Sherry VanderPloeg, Georgia Timmer and Carl Reimink.
Steve Haas visited Hope College to say AIDS is a Christian issue and the church is not doing enough. Haas, a vice president of the non-profit Christian relief and development organization World Vision, challenged hundreds of students in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Sunday to engage their peers, local communities and churches to increase awareness of the AIDS pandemic.
Ash trees in the Great Lakes region are disappearing in record numbers, the United States Department of Agriculture reports. Conservationists hope that a new grass-roots volunteer initiative will preserve the tree's seedlings, so in the event of extinction, the trees can be reintroduced to the area. Michigan ash trees are threatened by the invasion of the emerald ash borer, a metallic-green beetle smaller than a penny that comes from Asia.
The city of Saugatuck likes a good party, especially the spicy kind. Hundreds of Saugatuck residents and tourists gathered under a tent in Wicks Park in Saugatuck Sunday to enjoy the town's annual Chili Cook-Off. Sixteen area restaurants donated their time and ingredients, serving more than 21 different kinds of chili. Each restaurant used their own special ingredients to make their chili taste unique.
Two Zeeland men were critically injured early Sunday when one of the men drove through a stop sign at an intersection in Olive Township, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. Zachary Flowers, 18, was traveling east on Port Sheldon Road at 104th Avenue around 1:40 a.m. when he struck a 1997 GMC pickup driven by Steven Salisbury, 21, also of Zeeland. Investigators say Flowers' 1994 Chevy Corsica hit Salisbury's truck after Salisbury drove through a stop sign...
Virginia VanderMay says her 16-year old granddaughter gets it. And when you have cancer, it is very important to understand that you are not alone and at least somebody gets it--even if they are 48 years younger than you. Years ago, VanderMay's granddaughter, Ashley, was diagnosed with brain cancer. At the age of 7, the young child was told she had no more than 6 months to live. Now 16, Ashley is alive and well, and it is her grandmother that needs support. Eagle Scouts flying high By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Oct. 10, 2005
In its first six decades, Boy Scout Troop 57 produced five Eagle Scouts. The West Olive troop literally doubled that total Sunday. Tyler Cizek, Rob Clavette, Jeff Miles, Nick Rolinski, and Andy VanderYacht were all awarded scouting's highest honor at Harlem Reformed Church in Port Sheldon Township. According to one of the troop's leaders, Doug Veltema, Troop 57 has only had five Eagle Scouts since its inception sometime around the 1940s.
In a time when hurricane relief efforts have captured the minds of many Americans, The Holland Museum reminded residents Saturday that just a more than a century ago, Holland, too, had to rely on the help of other people. More than 50 people attended Fire Walk, a walking tour of areas impacted by the Great Fires of 1871 led by The Holland Historical Trust President Joel Lefever. The tour began at the Cappon House visitor center and traveled east ending at Van Vleck Hall...
Deanna van Dijk, Calvin College professor, and senior Rob Vink spent a lot of time at the beach this past summer, but it had nothing to do with swimming or volleyball. The duo headed toward Holland State Park to study the current status and historical activity of Mount Pisgah, the large sand dune adjacent to the park. The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission awarded van Dijk a $5,000 grant to fund the study, and she chose Vink to assist in the work.
Not only did Ivy Gibson's mother let her wear overalls to church on Sunday, the nine-year-old got to bring her pet beagle, Jackson, too. Gibson, wearing a denim outfit decorated with puppy dogs and dog-bone shaped pins, brought Jackson to All Saints Episcopal Church Sunday where a blessing of the animals was held on the church lawn. Gibson said her dog had never been to church before and that it was important they brought him because God loves animals, too.
Rochelle Holmes is asking for help. The same woman who, just three weeks ago, let 23 New Orleans evacuees, most of them strangers, into her house, said the job isn't done. "They need more than money, more than clothes. They need your time. They are in a strange land and they need to stay busy. They need to know we care," said Holmes. A group of 20 volunteers came to a meeting at the Holmes house early Saturday morning. Holmes and her husband, Tony, hosted a prayer...
Jake Hogeboom didn't completely lie when he told reporters that his father was on a mission trip in Central America earlier this year. Gary Hogeboom was on a mission -- a mission to win a million dollar cash prize. Then again, playful dishonesty might just run in the family. Gary Hogeboom, 47, of Grand Haven Township, made his debut on "Survivor: Guatemala" Thursday night. The ex-NFL player told his teammates that he was a landscaper.
Members of the Beach family are looking forward to the day when they can walk back into their Fennville home that was gutted by fire over the July Fourth weekend. Until then, they are getting support from community members to rebuild their lives. Tami and Joe Walker of Fennville helped organized a shower over the weekend to help the family get the things they need. "It just shows that even though there are a few bad apples, there are thousands of good ones," said Pamela Beach.
After a lazy summer of rolling out of bed anywhere between 9:30 and 10 a.m., Veronica Winebrenner's alarm clock reminded her early Wednesday that it was her first day of seventh-grade. "I think that the hardest thing is getting up early," said Winebrenner, 12. "I had to get up at 6:45 this morning."
Waving goodbye to their parents, Black River Public School middle and high school students ran into the building Wednesday eager to see old friends, make new ones and start classes...
Musician lifts spirits with CD of hymns By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Aug. 14, 2005 Norma Walters's earliest memory of her husband, Clarence F. Walters, is not of something he said or something he did, but of his music. Years before the two formerly met, all the children living in the rural areas of Ottawa and Allegan counties would attend an eighth-grade graduation ceremony at Hamilton Auditorium. Both Norma and Clarence matriculated the same day, although they attended different schools. Clarence, who is both a pianist and organist, played at the event.
After spending 10 weeks this summer working in the research labs at Hope College, Carla Rodriguez Dimitrescu and Silvia Zambrano said they have a new outlook on the world and the sciences. And it wasn't just the two visiting students who gained a new perspective on things this summer. Hope College faculty, staff and students also learned from Rodriguez Dimitrescu and Zambrano, who came to Hope as part of a student exchange collaborative with the University of Queretaro in Mexico.
Although Great Lakes Superior Walls initially planned to move to Hamilton to meet the needs of its expanding business, owner Jim Benton said being able to recruit a more dedicated work force in the area was an added benefit. From city life to country life, the different culture also brings different values, Benton said. He sees nothing but good things for his company's future in Hamilton. "Hopefully this will be our new home," he said.
Hearty servings of pork, baked beans, potato salad and ice cream filled the stomachs of Zeeland residents Thursday, while proceeds from the Pig Out helped fill the pockets of Zeeland Rescue. Former squad member Karen Groover came all the way from Florida to help at the annual event at Vande Luyster Square. Groover has been traveling back to her hometown every year for the last four years to attend the picnic. "I support the cause. ..."
David Todd was on the back deck of his home at 131 Waukazoo Drive just after 9 a.m. Thursday when he heard a plane with a sputtering engine taking off from the nearby Park Township Airport. At the same time, Holland Township resident Amy Jo Stickney was running west along Ottawa Beach Road when she saw the single-engine plane struggling as it flew above the intersection of Ottawa Beach Road and Waukazoo Drive. "I was surprised he made it above the stop light, he was flying so low..."
After 26 years with Special Olympics, the Area 12 director plans to retire this weekend. Maybe.
Martha Katt worked hard to develop a quality athletic program for children and adults with developmental disabilities. During her 14 years as director of Special Olympics in Ottawa and Allegan counties, Katt, 56, saw an increase in the number of athletes, an increase in the organization's sports and programming, and an improvement in its ability to raise money.
A lot is expected of kindergartners these days. And Head Start, one of the many federal programs initiated during President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty," has for 40 years been providing low-income children with the skills and preschool education necessary to prepare them for their first day of school. "The expectations are different than when we were children," said Executive Director Chris Piper. "They are expected to walk into a classroom, be able to sit down and listen..."
For Kim Meyer, high-energy teens are part of what keeps this 41-year-old young. In turn, Meyer believes it is her young persona that makes her a good candidate to work with youth. "I think a lot of it is that the kids think I'm younger than I am and they relate to me," she said. "It helps because they don't think I'm beyond their understanding of what they are going through."
Spending the night in the De Tour Reef Lighthouse was, for enthusiast Bob Sperling, like spending the night in the Holy Grail of lighthouses. Sperling, of Holland, was part of the first group of people to stay over night at the off-shore lighthouse since it was automated in 1974. The still-operational lighthouse is at the mouth of the St. Mary's River, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Superior.
Whether she was teaching Spanish or English, Gladys T. Cortès wanted everyone to be bilingual. "She always concentrated on the bilingual aspect of it," said her daughter Roxana Lewis of Grand Rapids. "Because she was bilingual, she wanted to work with the bilingual students, and she wanted to help other people be bilingual, too." Cortès, of Holland, died Monday at her home after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. She was 64.
Gary Dewey is hoping to bring a little bit of outer space back home to Holland Christian's North Shore Middle School. The principal and science teacher at the school was one of 20 educators selected nationwide to be part of the first class of the NASA Airspace Systems Education Cohort (ASEC) -- a cadre of award winning teachers that will receive hands-on training from NASA professionals and charged with returning to their educational communities to train others ...
Dan Barkel said it's time he stops thinking like a cop and starts thinking for himself. Barkel, 58, retired from the Zeeland Police Department last week after 35 years. "At some point we have to take some of the time God gave us and use that energy for ourselves," he said. "I've been through Vietnam and you go there at 19 and you're 90 when you come out, and then you go into law enforcement and you have to carry all that on your shoulders."
Township officials say the development of the Sunrise Estates subdivision is just what Fillmore Township needed to extend its water system and prevent further land annexation by the city of Holland. In the past as developers purchased township property, the township was unable to provide municipal sewer and water. As a result, Fillmore land was annexed by the city -- including 1,100 acres annexed in 1999 -- as developers turned to Holland for those utilities.
When Ben Peacock left Holland upon graduating from West Ottawa High School in 1998, he wasn't sure where he would end up. But he was pretty sure it wouldn't be his hometown. Today, Peacock, 25, will return to China for the fifth time. This time, he plans to stay for two years. Whether it be arguing with streetside Chinese banana sellers, riding camels through the desert or off-roading through the Tibetan plateaus, since Peacock first set foot in the land of the east...
Sliding her head under the sail, Leann Calanchi giggled as she caught the wind and glided across Lake Macatawa. Two weeks ago, Calanchi, 10, of Holland, had never set foot on a sailboat. Now she is one of the Macatawa Bay Junior Association sailing school's best students. "It feels so good to be able to do it," she said. "I feel like I can do anything now. I'd sail everyday if I had my own sailboat."
A Dutch television crew is coming to Holland in the next few weeks, drawn by rare documents salvaged by The Holland Museum. The television film crew will be visiting Holland twice in July to film a documentary on the former Holland bureau of the Netherlands Information Service, its longtime director, Willard C. Wichers, and Queen Juliana's 1952 visit to Holland, said Joel Lefever, museum curator. The film crew will be in Holland July 17-19 and July 25-30.
Dick Tuttle never intended to be a pharmacist. But it isn't merely happenstance he spent 49 years working in the industry. The former co-owner and pharmacist at Dykstra Drug Store, who at one time aspired to be an electrical engineer, said his life-long career was the result of an act of God. Tuttle retired Thursday after 38 years at Dykstra Drug Store, 91 Douglas Ave. in Holland Township.
Elizabeth Gordon isn't worried at all that Canada plans to limit the flow of prescription drugs to America. Gordon, who opened American Canadian International Drugs in Zeeland this January said she is still on a mission to help local consumers purchase inexpensive imported drugs. "If we can't get them from Canada, we will get them from other places," she said.
Treats for the troops By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: July 4, 2005 Gay Bos remembers scrambling into fox holes when the war planes flew overhead. And she can still envision people from her old neighborhood in the Netherlands getting caught by German soldiers for harboring Jews. But most of all, Bos recalls the soldiers who freed her from the Nazi regime. "I remember the soldiers who freed us," said Bos, 75, who immigrated to the United States in 1948. "I never dreamed I would come here, and I so appreciate what America has done."
With her quick wit and refreshing spunk, 100 doesn't seem that old to Mildred Oosting. Known to many as Mikey, Oosting still lives independently with her younger sister, still recites Scripture and the sisters still play a mean game of canasta. "We play partners and we beat everyone quite often," she said. Mikey turns 100 today. "I'm just glad the Lord has given me that many years, and that long of a good relationship with God," the Holland resident said.
In Philadelphia in 1777, one year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the first anniversary of America's break from England was celebrated with loud music, cannons and fireworks. Fireworks have remained a Fourth of July tradition for nearly 230 years, and America's infatuation with the flying explosives seems to grow each year. And it has become a dangerous habit as an estimated 9,300 injuries were attributed to fireworks in the United States in 2003.
The Department of Natural Resources is warning residents to be careful this Fourth of July weekend. The summer heat and lack of rain in the past month have pushed parts of Michigan into drought condition, increasing the possibility of fires. Lynn Boyd, DNR Forest, Mineral and Fire Management division chief, said fireworks easily start fires, especially when shot off in grassy and wooded areas.
The city of Saugatuck voted Monday night to reduce its current parking wavier fees from $3,000 per space to $500 per space with a 4-3 vote. "It shows a willingness on our part to do what we can do to encourage businesses to come into town," said council member Barry Johnson, who voted for the reduction. "It is also an incentive for business owners to provide parking on their property," said Councilman Jeff Spangler.
Bigger, brighter and better is the theme for this year's Independence Day celebrations. After a year of planning, organizers are getting ready to kick off "Celebration Freedom" at Kollen Park in Holland. The annual fireworks show will be Saturday, July 2. "We wanted to use the Fourth as the rain day," said Troy West, station manager at WWJQ-FM and WPNW-AM, the radio stations co-sponsoring the annual event.
After two years of trying to land a job in her chosen field, Rachel Brink is finally starting her career. In Africa. The Calvin College and Holland Christian High School graduate left Friday for Kenya on behalf of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC). "I have been looking for a job in third world development," said Brink, who had been managing Russ' Southtown restaurant since her graduation in January 2003. "It is just something I have always wanted to do.."
Not everyone is blessed enough to live an entire century and Jacob Visser knows that. The former Holland baker, who turned 100 Tuesday, said after all the years, the one thing he still relies on is his belief in eternal life. "I look forward to that -- to God and to my faith because I'm not going to live forever," he said.
Every day is a day at the beach for David Shabaz. The 28-year-old West Ottawa graduate figured out a way to walk Hawaiian beaches anywhere from eight to 12 hours a day, five days a week and get paid for it. Shabaz, who is now a member of the Honolulu Police Department, is part of a new initiative by the police force to deter beach theft. "It is great," he said. "I get paid to go to the beach and walk around and get a tan, a farmer's tan, but, you know, it is still a tan."
Often times children with disabilities are overlooked. Especially when it comes to outdoor playground equipment. They won't be overlooked with a new playground planned in November for Smallenburg Park in Holland that will allow all children, even those with physical and developmental disabilities, the opportunity to play.
Representatives from several area non-profits toured the Holland Public Schools Community Education and E.E. Fell buildings Wednesday morning and met afterward to discuss the potential future of the properties, which the school put up for sale in January. Spearheaded by Jubilee Ministries, the groups talked about turning the property into a Central City Resource Center -- which would provided office space for local non-profit agencies -- and into a low-income housing complex...
Residents in the neighborhood surrounding College Park, located between 19th and 20th streets on College Avenue in Holland, were assured by city officials Tuesday night that their voices were being heard. A large and diverse group of residents came and enjoyed strawberry and chocolate ice cream while discussing their concerns about recent vandalism in the area, including park graffiti, carving on picnic tables and broken lights.
At 15, Kayla Emery should be worrying about getting her driver's license, going to the beach and shopping with her friends. Instead, the Manlius Township teen is overwhelmed with thoughts of brain surgery, needles, medical tests and scans. The Hamilton High School junior was diagnosed in December with Moyamoya Syndrome, a rare neurological disease which prevents blood and oxygen flow to the brain and can cause strokes.
John Van Eerden is not the type of person to boast about himself. Though being recognized by the Holland Coast Guard Auxiliary earlier this month made him feel like he's done something important in his life, Van Eerden said he's nothing special. "I just did the job I was told to do at the time," he said. Van Eerden, 90, was recently presented with a 30-year retirement pin and a service award from Rear Admiral R.F. Silva, Ninth Coast Guard District.
Matt Adkins was forced to learn about politics at an early age. With seven siblings, Adkins, who recently completed an internship at the White House Personnel Office, had to learn to debate and plead his case. "Especially when all of them disagree with you," said Adkins, 20, of Fillmore Township. Growing up, he also learned the art of public speaking. With a family of 10, Adkins said, even reciting the nightly devotion is a speech.
Saugatuck Public Schools Superintendent Tim Wood asked the Saugatuck City Council Monday night to enter into a lease agreement with the school system, which would allow the school to build a new athletic facility. The city currently owns a parcel behind the school, which the district would like to lease as a site for a new baseball field.
When Ed Scholten met his future wife Margaret at a widows support group in Holland, the Hamilton resident just thought he was lucky to have found a woman to spend his time with. Now, after eight years of marriage, Scholten said it's a good thing he likes strawberries, too. The couple, which runs Scholten Strawberry Patch on 137th Street in Hamilton, has planted 5,000 strawberry plants every year for the last seven years.
It will be a family affair at Kollen Park Saturday as Core-City prepares to celebrate Juneteenth. The Rev. Wayne Coleman of Core City hopes to see hundreds of families coming together with picnic baskets for family-oriented games, activities, speakers and music celebrating the day in 1865 when Union soldiers finally arrived in Texas to spread word the Civil War had ended.
When an apparently abused woman, lost and afraid with two toddlers and a car filled with personal belongings, pulled into their driveway, Stephen and Marsha Crane did just what they hope any of their neighbors would have done. The Cranes, who live in Belmont, braved a snowstorm and slippery road conditions to drive the lost and terrified woman and the young children from rural Kent County to The Center for Women in Transition in Holland.
The one thing that stands out in Tim Groenhof's mind after four years at Holland Christian High School is the importance of believing in oneself. Groenhof, 18, recently joined the Holland Police Department as a cadet. The recent high school graduate was also recognized earlier this month with the Mayor's Youth Recognition Award. "Everything has just come about in the last few months, and now I see that you can always try," he said.
Long summer evenings at the Maplewood Sports Complex have become a way of life for the Wilsey family. Though only one member of the Holland family, 16-year-old son Ben, still plays Little League baseball, it's not unusual for the Wilseys to spend two, three and sometimes four nights a week at the complex. Bob, a past president of Holland Little League, still serves on the league's board of directors and helps coach a team.
A sea of color filled Holland High School's parking lot Friday afternoon as about 3,000 flats of flowers were lined up and ready for distribution. "There are reds and yellows and pinks, every color you can think of for flowers," said Anne Wingard of Holland Area Beautiful, a volunteer group that tries to encourage the beautification of Holland through recognition and projects.
Two important men in Betty Cook's life shared a desire to serve in World War I. What James Cook and Jack Knoll -- childhood friends from Holland and Betty Cook's father and stepfather, respectively -- didn't share was the same wartime experience. They worked together as firefighters in Holland and enlisted in the Army together. After arriving in France in 1918, the two friends were forced to part ways.
When Dean Christopher joined the West Ottawa High School staff he told his wife, Darlene, that was where wanted to spend the rest of his career. At the time, the district's band director planned to stay longer than 16 years. Christopher, 55, was diagnosed with brain cancer in March. Shortly after, he resigned from teaching after 33 years. His last day was May 29.
After committing nearly 25 years to helping students study in far away places, Neal Sobania will himself relocate next fall to the Pacific rim. Sobania, director of International Education at Hope College, will leave Holland in August to become the executive director of the Wang Center for International Programs at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington State. "It is a very unique opportunity. There are going to be some new challenges," Sobania said.
John Bright remembers looking out his bedroom window at the age of 7, rhythmically tapping his fingers on the window sill, pretending it was a piano keyboard. "I would play the window sill and sing, sing, sing out the window on wonderful warm days," he said. Inspired by his uncles who formed the Bright Brother's Quartet in Traverse City, Bright has devoted his life to music. He has spent the last two decades teaching music in schools and churches, using his talent to serve God.
After four years of hard work, Joshue Padron is finally seeing his efforts pay off. Not only did he receive the Mayor's Youth Recognition Award for his dedication and leadership at Holland High School in May, but Padron, 17, will be attending Grand Valley State University next year on an academic scholarship. "I knew that my parents were going to be very proud of me. I was proud, too," he said.
Amber Marcy can't wait to go to Oval Beach this summer, especially now that there's a chair waiting for her. The Saugatuck Lions Club and the City of Saugatuck recently helped purchase an all-terrain, beach- and water-accessible wheelchair, which will be available this summer at Oval Beach. Marcy gave it a test run Wednesday and was thrilled with the results. "It was really cool," she said.
Marjorie Hoeksema found her calling as an advocate for the elderly in a far-away place. The 87-year-old woman, who has written several letters to the editor on behalf of the area's seniors and has spent numerous years volunteering at adult care facilities throughout the world, said she is the voice for the area's elderly. "They just get left behind and someone needs to be there to talk about them," Hoeksema said. "In today's world, news has to be rather electrifying to be read..."
It took just one summer along the West Michigan lakeshore for Drew Montgomery to fall in love with Holland State Park. Now, 15 years later, the newly appointed temporary park supervisor hopes he won't have to leave. "It's a great place to be. I love it here," said Montgomery. "The area, the location, and where everything is at. "Then, of course, Lake Macatawa flowing into Lake Michigan, the lighthouse at the end of the pier -- all those things make it real good."
Fifty bright pink plastic flamingos landed in the small front lawn of Holland City Councilwoman Linda Falstad's house Thursday morning, kicking off the Ottawa County Mentoring Collaborative's Flamingo Flocking fundraising campaign. The lawn decorations will remain in Falstad's Birchwood Avenue yard until Monday, when she moves the flock to someone else's yard.
The public will soon get a glimpse into the life and lifestyle of Saugatuck's noted Denison family. After resting peacefully for five years following Frank Denison's death, the Denison mansion, which sits on 420 acres of duneland and includes one mile of beach front property, was emptied of its contents last week. Most of the items will be sold at auction on June 11 at Blue Star Antique Pavilion in Douglas. The sale begins at 10 a.m.
Eva Dean-Folkert may be bigger than her sister, Judi, but Judi's older and she's the boss. Judi Dean-Sloan, who has been fighting breast cancer with humor and strength since 2002, said it is her younger sister Eva who is the star. Eva plans to walk 26.2 miles, the distance of a marathon, in Chicago next weekend in honor of her big sister and the thousands of women suffering from breast cancer. Eva will be walking June 4-5 in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
Military recruitment numbers are down and Matt Jaeger wants to help, but he can't. "All I want to do is join the military," said the 2004 Holland High School graduate. "I can't sit still when people my age are doing something really important and I'm just sitting here stocking shelves at Meijer." Turned away from the United States Marine Corps because of an eye condition called optic atrophy, a dysfunction of the optic nerve, Jaeger refuses to give up.
Former Juneteenth Queen Cheryl Jacobs was disappointed that Holland's annual Juneteenth celebration will not have a queen pageant this year. For Jacobs, being a contestant in the pageant and reigning as queen was an educational and honorable experience. Jacobs, 20, said contestants attended seminars on African-American history, finance and poise. As queen, Jacobs participated in a Tulip Time parade and attended the governor's luncheon.
A traffic study, needed by Ox-Bow School of Art to complete its proposed expansion project and demanded by residents of Saugatuck's Park Street, might be closer to completion as Saugatuck City Council members agreed Monday night to consider hiring the firm Fleis & Vandenbrink to conduct the study. The city has already received proposals from three firms -- Progressive AE, Wade-Trim and Fleis & Vandenbrink -- to conduct the traffic study.
Ellery Bouwkamp used to sit and count the Macatawa Area Express (MAX) buses as they passed in front of her parent's house. When her teacher at Holland Christian's Rose Park Elementary told her about the MAX bus poster contest, the 11-year-old couldn't wait to submit a drawing. "I thought it would be cool because I've always wanted to ride it," she said. Sponsored jointly by MAX, National City Bank and Meijer, the poster contest was open to all area fifth grade students.
Not only did the students in Gerry Yzquierdo's fourth-grade classroom at Lakeshore Elementary School get to watch a 636-foot long Great Lakes freighter inch its way through Holland Harbor on Thursday, they also got a lesson about Michigan's natural resources. As the massive freighter passed by, the students stood in Kollen Park and held up welcome signs and waved to the sailors. "It was really huge," said student Corinne Wuersel, 10.
Efrain Hernandez knows it's important to listen to his mother. "My mom always tells me in Spanish, 'The harder you work, the better things you're going to get later,'" the Holland High School senior said. For Hernandez, 18, the hard work he puts in on the soccer field and in the classroom has paid off as he recently received the Mayor's Youth Recognition Award for his achievements.
With water bottles in hand and determination on their faces, 17 preschool students marched out the doors of Corpus Christi Catholic School and Center in Holland Township ready to run. Cheered on by family, friends and the school's first-graders, the preschoolers took part in their annual 1K Run Friday, making 10 laps around the school's circular drive. A second group of preschoolers ran in the afternoon.
Street Talk By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: May 21, 2005 What advice do you have for the 2005 graduates?
Mckenna Wilkosz, a third-grader at Holland Heights Focus School, has been training for the last 10 weeks for a 5K run, and her hard work and practice has paid off. Although the rest of her 11-member Girls on the Run team is nervous about the race, Wilkosz, 9, said the program has built her confidence. She isn't worried at all. "I know I can do it," she said. "I've been practicing so much."
When Analia Dagher wanted to come and live with her daughter in the United States, the Honduran woman wasn't sure how she was going to make her move legal. "I called a lawyer, but you know, you never know with lawyers -- who do you trust?" she said. Eventually Dagher, 46, was directed to Latin American United for Progress, which helped her through the immigration process. "I wasn't going to be here as a tourist," she said. "They were going to help me get my residency..."
Frank Kraai has had the opportunity to travel, but has no desire to be anywhere but his hometown. And he has no plans to leave anytime soon. "I wouldn't leave this town for anything," he said. "I don't travel. Why go some place to find something when people travel here from all over the world?" Kraai, 69, will never abandon Tulip Time either. The annual festival, he said, is part of what brings this community together. It is the gift of Tulip Time.
Between the two of them, Sandy Hemple and Marla Lindsey have been through more than 70 Tulip Times, but they haven't yet tired of their hometown festival. In fact, the sisters, formerly known as Sandy and Marla Lanning, hope to see many more. Hemple, 75, and Lindsey, 71, are still going strong as volunteer step-on guides, helping out-of-town tour bus drivers find their way to Tulip Time attractions. "I just love it. I love Holland and I love the people," said Hemple.
Four years of high school Dutch dance just wasn't enough for Ann Mulder. It just took her awhile to get around to doing something about it. Seventeen years after her 1953 graduation from Holland High School, which typically would have ended her Dutch dancing career, Mulder and her friend, Betty Dick, came up with the idea of starting an alumni Dutch dance group.
Street Talk By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: May 14, 2005 What is your favorite part of Tulip Time?
It isn't just Holland, Mich., that honors its tulips. Throughout the country and world, many other cities celebrate spring festivals built upon the tulip bulb. The Canadian Tulip Festival held in Ottawa, Ontario, and Gatineau, Quebec, sees more than 1 million visitors every year. The festival, which is the largest of its kind in the world, is celebrating its 53rd year.
There are a lot of things to take photos of during Tulip Time, but a bathroom? Alex Bostelaar, 15, came bounding out of the Charmin Ultra Potty Palooza, with a smile on her face and a camera in her hand. "That was so cool, I got a picture," she screamed to her friends Alex Russell, 15, and Heather Winkleblack, 15, all of West Ottawa High School. Potty Palooza, a tractor-trailer outside the Civic Center, may be the No. 1 or No. 2 best new attraction at this year's festival.
Tena Housenga-Selles says the well-rounded, healthy meals she prepares for herself every evening keep her healthy and feeling young. She may be onto something. The Holland resident will turn 102 on May 29. "That's old. I can't complain. I feel good. I eat good," she said. "You know, a lot of people when they are getting old will fix just sandwiches, but I fix a whole dinner at night and I think that keeps me healthy."
Dandelions aren't just weeds to the people of Borculo -- they're an excuse to celebrate. While Holland honored the tulip, Borculo held its annual Dandelion Festival Saturday with a pancake breakfast, parade and children's activities at the Borculo Christian Reformed Church. Bright yellow dandelions were everywhere on Saturday, and not just on the ground. Two girls holding the banner for the Borculo Christian School Marching Band pinned the flowers behind their ears.
Kathy Vander Yacht never lets her son, Cory, forget that home is where the mom is. Cory Vander Yacht, 24, is a member of the Georgia National Guard, and after spending the first week of May at home with his family in Holland, he will return to Iraq this month. The Vander Yachts had lunch together on Friday before Cory, a 1999 West Ottawa graduate, returned to Fort Stewart, in Hinesville, Georgia to await a mid-May deployment.
While working on a project to increase appreciation for racial diversity, Holland eighth-grader Kate Mata realized she had 55 new neighbors. After attending a Calling All Colors Racial Unity Conference at Hope College last fall, area middle-schoolers went back to their own schools and figured out ways to talk about diversity. Mata, who attends Holland East Middle School, said one of the things her school did was recognize different ethnicities on various holidays.
When his position at West Ottawa Public Schools was eliminated because of budget cuts, Bradley Raffenaud of Zeeland wasn't sure he could find another way to use his skills in Holland, the small community he has grown to love. Raffenaud, 39, was recently named the new operations director for the Macatawa Area Community Media Center.
Barb Fris likes to be different and she likes to be loud. While almost everyone in her family has gone to work for the family business, Fris Office Outfitters of Holland, this 52-year-old woman took the road less traveled, devoting her life to students with special needs. Fris, of Holland, was recently honored as Special Olympics Coach of the Year for Michigan. "It's her dedication and passion," said Joey Lynn Bialkowski, Grand Rapids Area Director for Special Olympics.
At 49, Karen Bush still goes to school every day. Sometimes, even on the weekends. The Holland Township resident will be presented with the Volunteer of the Year award for her work at Corpus Christi Catholic School on May 17 in Grand Rapids. Co-workers nominated Bush for the award that is given out to one person annually by the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.
Billy Ellis likes a challenge. Despite the limitations of spina bifida, a birth defect that confines him to a wheelchair and keeps him from using the lower portion of his body, Ellis, of Robinson Township, graduated with honors from high school. Now, with help from Ottawa County Community Mental Health, the 22-year-old is the owner of his own business.
Happy to serve By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: April 28, 2005
For Suzi Jacobs, 61, volunteering at the Holland Rescue Mission is no special thing. The Laketown Township resident was named Volunteer of the Year at the mission's Volunteer Appreciation Banquet Tuesday. Jacobs said that she never wanted recognition and simply wanted to serve God when she began volunteering there almost two years ago. "I'd rather just go and serve the Lord and not be noticed. I'm glad it's over with," she said of the banquet.
When local children come home from school today, the one thing many of them aren't going to do is turn on the television. April 25 through May 1 is National TV-Turnoff Week and area schools and churches are encouraging people of all ages to turn off their televisions and tune in to other recreational activities. The Black River middle school student council planned after school activities all week for students in grades 1 to 12.
If you are looking for Jessica Rhodes, look no farther than the high school art room. The 18-year-old Holland Christian senior is not only enrolled in three art classes this semester, but also spends her lunch and study period working on art. "I work on it at home all the time, too. I just spend as much time as I possibly can doing art," she said.
Whether he is photographing them, racing them or piloting them, Marc VanDis is happiest when he is around hot air balloons. At 54, the Holland native took his first flight of the year Monday in his balloon, named "City of Holland Too," with a float over Lake Macatawa. Ballooning has taught VanDis the important lesson of following your dreams, regardless of your fears. It had to -- the pilot is afraid of heights.
Dozens of people took to the streets in Holland Wednesday night as students, community members and sexual assault and domestic violence advocates protested violence against women during the fourth annual Take Back the Night march, sponsored by the Center for Women in Transition. Participants walked from 10th Street and College Avenue to Centennial Park, where the center's Clothesline Project was displayed.
Members of Zeeland Boy Scout Troop 21 learned Saturday that the United States flag is a living symbol that deserves proper care and respect. Each of the 167 flags that were retired during Josh Teusink's flag ceremony Saturday, whether they were once part of a parade or pledged to daily by American school children, had its own story. Held at the Zeeland Public Safety Building on Main Avenue, the ceremony was a community service project. T
Something inside Poema Weller changed when a woman and two of her children walked into her office last October. Weller, the project coordinator for Latin Americans United for Progress, listened as the woman's daughter told her in Spanish, "My mother has breast cancer and no one will help us." Patricia Arias, 21, said her mother, Guadalupe, came to Holland at the urging of Patricia's sister, who lived in the Holland area. "She said that maybe someone could help my mother,"
Chaz Shelton, 18, said it's impossible to give back to the community as much as he has received, but the grateful Holland High School senior is going to keep trying. Whether Shelton is organizing school events or leading his peers in Christian faith-based activities, the recent Mayor's Youth Recognition Award winner isn't about to stop. Shelton said he gets his motivation from his relationship with God.
Members of a fifth-grade choir at Van Raalte Focus School joked that they might need a manager now that they're award-winning recording artists. Members of the Holland Public Schools' fifth-grade ensemble, the same group that sang the national anthem at a Detroit Pistons game in February, took the $5,000 grand prize in Family Fare's West Michigan "Strut Your Stuff" jingle contest.
Lisa Freeman became interested in Dutch art when she went to Deklomp Wooden Shoe and Delftware Factory to get a pair of shoes for a high school Dutch Dance. "I saw the artist working there and I thought that might be fun for a summer job, but I ended up staying a lot longer than I thought," Freeman said. The Holland Christian High School and Hope College graduate ended up working there for 12 years.
When Emily Wood realized she had to go all the way to the basement of her dorm to use a bathroom, the Hope College senior got a first-hand lesson in the difficulties of living life in a wheelchair. Her one day of life in a wheelchair as part of Hope College's Disability Awareness Week also made her realize that although every task requires more time and imposes greater physical demands, for people who function with real disabilities every day, life just simply has to roll on.
There are no average days for Allegan County Central Dispatch supervisor Tammy Bruce or for her colleagues. Bruce, 30, of Plainwell, has worked as a dispatcher for eight years. On any given day she can be taking calls from a woman whose husband or boyfriend has beaten her, or an hysterical child whose mother is sick. The call can come from a fed-up resident whose reached their limit with an inconsiderate neighbor, or someone reporting a drunken driver on the road.
More than 300 people were brought out of the dark and into a world that they could finally see after a Holland doctor's recent visit to India. While restoring vision for the impoverished had a profound affect on Dr. John Arendshorst's overseas patients, the opthalmologist found himself incredibly impacted by the nation of India, its problems and its hope for the future. "India's population is so large, and the medical need there is so large," he said.
Police are now seeking to arrest a Holland man they suspect in a weekend murder in Holland Township. Holland District Court Judge Susan Jonas authorized an open murder warrant to arrest Eliseo Ruiz, 34, who police have been looking for since the stabbing death Saturday morning of William James Oliverio Jr., 30, at a relative's of Oliverio's Holland Township apartment.
Beth VandenBerg is a leader at Calvary Baptist School, says teacher Carol Overley, but not one who takes the limelight. "Beth shows a spirit of leadership, but it is servant leadership. She's a humble girl. She does things behind the scenes," said Overley. Last month, VandenBerg, the daughter of Tom and Kristi VandenBerg of Holland, was honored for her extensive volunteer work and her athletic achievements when she received the Mayor's Youth Recognition Award.
Odds were against Ruby Hochstetler of Holland when, at age 17, she got pregnant, broke up with her fiance and dropped out of Holland High School. "I was feeling totally lost. I had everything planned so carefully and I remember thinking, 'Now it is just not going to happen,'" she said. "I had to resolve to do it anyway, even with my son, and it turned out better with him." Hochstetler, now 19, was recently awarded the Michigan Works Alumni of the Year award for Ottawa County...
Eleven-year-old Travis Beyer was hungry. He was at a sleepover last weekend at Third Christian Reformed Church in Zeeland and the youth leaders weren't giving out any food -- only water and juice. For 30 hours. "I'm going to eat, like, 20 pieces of pizza when I go home," Beyer said. He had just been weighed to see if he would lose any weight over the food-less weekend. Beyer was among 16 middle schoolers from the church who took part in 30-Hour Famine...
In her more than 100 years of life, Lillian Tazelaar has rarely found anything to complain about. "I have a wonderful life, really," she said. "I have had 105 happy years. They have been blessed years. I can't wait for more." The Holland resident, who turned 105 Wednesday, remembers life without automobiles, telephones or electricity. She looks back at the last century-plus and considers being able to look forward after so many years a privilege.
In January, Sgt. Steve Fenske got the best care package of his life. Stationed in Afghanistan, Fenske saw first-hand the efforts of area residents when he received a large shipment of mittens, hats, scarves and toys from his sister, Holland resident Karla Parkhurst. Fenske had told Parkhurst that many children in Afghanistan lacked winter attire. She organized a clothing drive at Parkhurst Chiropractic and Lakeshore Wellness Center in Holland.
Some people came for the jazz music of Nick Colionne. Others came for the hearty servings of African-American soul food. However, everyone who came to the Holiday Inn ballroom Friday night joined in celebrating diversity as Core City Christian Community Development of Holland held its third annual Black History Month celebration. "By just having someone of different culture or ethnic background join each other at the table, this is an educational experience for our youth..."
Visitors take their shoes off when they arrive in the dingy basement room. Next to the stained sandals and a woven mat is a sign bearing the words God spoke to Moses in the Book of Exodus: "Take off your sandals, for the place that you are standing is holy ground." A month ago, the room in the basement of Hope College's Keppel House was anything but special.
Two Fennville men have been honored for their contributions to the community, especially for leadership in the annual Goose Festival. Tom Tucker was named Citizen of the Year by the Fennville Chamber of Commerce and Tom LaShell received an Community Leadership Award. Tucker, 78, was the main organizer of Fennville Goose Festival from 1991 to 1999. "It gives our little town of Fennville some notoriety," he said.
Developers of the Upper Macatawa wetlands sent bulldozers and earth movers away for the winter season, saying phase one of the wetland restoration project, first envisioned in a 1998 brainstorming session, is almost complete. As work on the project ceased for the winter, developers hope that the winter weather and recent flooding won't damage the project too much.
At 84, Charlotte Alexander is young. Alexander, who is known to her co-workers at the Family Independence Agency as Little Char, is retiring March 3. Having worked various jobs since she was 15, Alexander says her almost 70 years of employment have kept her youthful spirit alive. "It keeps your mind good and keeps you up to date on things. It's a reason to get up in the morning. You're not just sitting around in your robe watching television," she said.
Whether he is playing soccer or greeting people at Christ Memorial Church, Brent Boersma of Holland is always ready with a smile to encourage people. The Holland High School senior was recently presented with a Mayor's Youth Recognition Award for his leadership among his classmates and teammates. Gregory Ceithaml, an English teacher and soccer coach at Holland High School, nominated Boersma for the award...
Although Ali Schaffer, 7, was born in Russia, and the grandparents of Madison Junior, 6, came from Mexico, the two have more in common then they think. They are "sisters" in the international Girl Scout family. At separate locations Saturday morning, the two girls celebrated their individual cultures and heritage while learning about Girl Scouting in different countries throughout the world.
Lakewood Elementary students got a chance Thursday and Friday to pet a wallaby named Benny -- that is, if they could catch him. On Thursday, the hopping marsupial got loose during a demonstration at the West Ottawa school and hopped right out of the classroom into the school's halls. Benny, who is native to the Australian grasslands, can hop at speeds up to 30 mph.
Flying high By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Feb. 13, 2005
The sky holds no limits for Phil Michmerhuizen. As a young boy, Michmerhuizen loved planes -- building models and hanging them from from his bedroom ceiling -- but he never dreamed he would become a pilot. Now 71, Michmerhuizen is working on a book about his flying adventures. "I've been flying for over 40 years and over 3,000 hours," he said. "That's not a great amount, but I was never a commercial airplane pilot or military pilot, and I never flew corporate or pipeline. ..."
Jean Vroom of Zeeland patiently watched Tammy VanderPloeg, an instructor at Family Fitness Center, stretch and bend Saturday while demonstrating easy ways to do strength training at home. Vroom, who has osteoporosis, attended the Zeeland Community Hospital's fitness fair Saturday to get information on how to exercise. VanderPloeg was willing to answer all of her questions. "In our field we're used to answering questions like that," she said.
Calvin freshman has passion to help By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Feb. 6, 2005 Kristin Diepenhorst wants nothing more in her life than to help others. Diepenhorst, a 2004 graduate of Holland Christian High School who is now a freshman at Calvin College, is a recent winner of the Mayor's Youth Recognition Award. She was nominated for the award by orchestra teacher John R. Swierenga Jr., who taught her from fourth grade all the way through high school. "She was always very agreeable to volunteer for things," Swierenga said.
Football feast By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Feb. 5, 2005
Bill Hakken won't be watching the Super Bowl Sunday, and it's not because he doesn't like football. Hakken, manager of the Columbia Avenue Pizza Hut restaurant, normally gets Sundays off, but he will be working with as many as 25 crew members -- three times the normal staff for a Sunday shift -- to meet the annual crush of pizza delivery orders on Super Bowl Sunday. "I don't get much choice in the matter. It's normally one of our busiest days of the year," he said.
Jon Den Herder was a man who stood by his convictions. He was a man who believed in peace, love, social justice and humanity. He was also a man who was never afraid to express his often liberal views in his conservative hometown of Holland. "He just wanted to educate people to know that it is so unfair for us to live in this bubble and waste so much gas and drive huge vehicles when there is a whole world out there that suffers because of us," said his wife, Jean Den Herder.
When most people go to Southern California, they want to see Disneyland, Hollywood, Venice Beach, or the San Diego Zoo. They want to chase movie stars, or bask in the sunshine of the west coast. Not Kelsey O'Connor. O'Connor, a Hamilton High School graduate who is a freshman at Grand Valley State University, drained her savings account because she wanted kiss Bob Barker. Barker has been the host of the CBS game show "The Price is Right" for 33 years.
Martin Gutwein says he doesn't have time to get old. Gutwein, a Holland resident who turns 97 on Feb. 4 still drives himself to his twice-weekly exercise class and still spends several hours a week in his woodworking shop -- he is known for building Adirondack chairs. He also takes his dog, Andy, a black Lhasa apso, on walks, cares for his cat, Amos, plays the rip saw, and speaks to school children whenever possible about his career in the Navy and time in World War II.
Phillip B. Munoa III understands that for some scholars, it is not enough to simply study the Bible to learn about Jesus. Munoa, a professor of religion at Hope College, will speak about Jesus on Saturday as part of Hope's Winter Happenings. Winter Happenings, an annual series of lectures put on by Hope faculty, are free and open to the public. There are sessions at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Laura Van Noord, 19, who worked at the Target store in Holland Township, died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a one-car crash Thursday in Salem Township. Van Noord, a 2004 Hudsonville High School graduate, was on her way to a class at Grand Rapids Community College when she lost control of her 1995 Chevrolet Blazer on icy roads and hit a tree shortly after 10:30 a.m. "Today was the first day any of us left the hospital for anything since Thursday," said Laura's brother, Joel ...
Lois Van Woerkom has been collecting stamps for 77 years and doesn't plan to stop any time soon. "I'm going to collect stamps forever, until I die," the 85-year-old Holland resident said. "Then I don't know what I'm going to do with them. I don't think I can take them to heaven." Van Woerkom started her collection at the age of 8 when a cousin gave her a box of stamps. She was quickly hooked. "It's just a really good pastime for me," she said.
In the last four months, Kristyn Brouwer hasn't watched television, talked on a cell phone, gone out to dinner, watched a movie or visited a shopping mall. And she says she hasn't been bored once. Instead, the 21-year-old Park Township resident has been busy hitchhiking around the Ghanaian countryside, perfecting the art of balancing water on her head and learning to share her living quarters with insects. Brouwer is a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana...
After graduating from the Holland Rescue Mission's Life Application program Friday afternoon, Jacqueline Wright is ready to take on the world. When Wright came to the mission in February she simply was looking for shelter. Nine months later, Wright has a steady job, security and the self-confidence to do anything. Nine people graduated from either the mission's Life Skills or Life Application programs Friday.
Holland-area siblings Travis and Blaine Ashley Sims have more in common then their last name. The two, both students at West Ottawa High School, also share a love of leadership, science, involvement in school activities, and, above all, a love for classical music. "We will go to the beach with our friends and everyone else is listening ... to rap and hip hop, and we always change the channel to classical," said Travis, 16, a junior. "It's pretty funny."
Steve Van Rees says his 9-year old daughter probably knows more about Michigan history than he does. Hannah Van Rees and her partner, Kyle Scholten, both students in Jennifer Becksvoort's fourth-grade class at Pine Ridge Elementary, won their school's "Michigan Jeopardy" competition Friday by a landslide. "I thought it was great. She spent all week studying her Michigan book," said Van Rees...
Local residents will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. in a series of events beginning Saturday. A community celebration of the life of the slain civil rights leader will take place 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Pillar Christian Reformed Church, 57th E. 10th St. The event is co-sponsored by the Core City Community Development Association, the city of Holland and Lakeshore Vineyard Christian Fellowship.
Sometimes a name makes all the difference. Saugatuck Superintendent Tim Wood announced at Monday's school board meeting that the names of some courses at the middle and high schools would change to keep the schools in compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act. There will be no changes to the content of the courses, Wood said. However, courses like Social Studies 8, which covers the history of Western civilization, will become History 8.
Chris Jackman and Laura Stanberry plan to take on Hollywood. Jackman, a Holland resident, and Stanberry, who is from Muskegon, have formed a company called Hemline Creative Group that will produce filmsm, among other things. "Dreams have fuzzy boundaries," Stanberry said. "You only go as far as you want to go and the only things stopping Chris and I is Chris and I, and we're not stopping anytime soon."
She loves outdoor painting, heights, fixing ceiling fans, cleaning gutters, installing wood floors, and if you want a tree cut down, stand back and watch her take it down. Rosa Ruiz can do just about anything. "I didn't even know they existed," said JoAnn Bouman of Grand Haven. "I knew females wallpapered, but a female painter, who does that? Girls don't paint. Girls don't do pumping or eavesdropping, but she does." Bouman hired Ruiz to work on her house last year.
After an hour and a half of Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach and Haydn, Aaron Tubergen brought some Spanish flare to the Holland Symphony Orchestra's 2005 Concerto Competition. The Holland Christian High School junior took first place in the competition, earning a solo spot with the Holland Symphony Orchestra during its Sunday, March 13, performance. The young violinist stood tall in front of the 100 spectators Saturday in Wichers Auditorium at Hope College's Nykerk Hall.
When Alonzo Salinas realized even tying his shoes was a difficult task, the 376-pound restaurant owner decided it was time to get healthy. "Being a business owner, it is important to maintain a positive image. I didn't feel that I was doing that, and even little tasks like tying my shoes were difficult," he said. "Bending over with a lot of weight is just hard, little things had just become out of control and I figured I'd better make a lifestyle change now."
The sounds that once bellowed from the pipes of a 1928 Skinner organ at the front of Hope College's Dimnent Chapel have diminished with age. The organ's hand-carved woodwork is tattered, its pipes are dusty and its sound is just not the same as it once was. After an extensive restoration project headed by the A. Thompson-Allen Company -- an organ restoration, maintenance and tuning business from New Haven, Conn. -- the organ will play just like it did 77 years ago.
While spectators wrapped up in blankets and coats, James Placer of Allegan tightened up his dry suit, grabbed his flippers and jumped into the water. He didn't do it for the exercise. He didn't do it to show off. He didn't do it because he enjoys swimming outdoors in January and he certainly didn't do it to see the few feet of muck at the bottom of the Holland Channel between Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan.
For Black River Public School freshman Aaron Kates, foreign languages, music and academic success are top priorities. Kates, 15, who received the Mayor's Youth Recognition Award in December, recently began learning German. He got a chance to practice the language over the winter break while on a trip to Berlin with his family. It was his first trip abroad. "It wasn't as different as I though it would be," he said. "It was just like Michigan except everyone speaks German."
Hat, mitten drive helps Afghan children By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Jan. 1, 2005 When Karla Parkhurst's brother called on Christmas Eve, he told his sister that all he wanted for Christmas were hats, mittens and scarves for the children of Afghanistan. Sgt. Steve Fenske has been stationed in Afghanistan since August and relayed a story to his family about how he reached down to give a small Afghan child a lollipop and noticed the young girl was barefoot in the snow.
Chillin' on New Year's Day is exactly what some area extremists will be doing. Whether it be with a bike, water skis or scuba gear, some area residents are ringing in the new year with a splash or, at least, the sound of tires and bodies slugging through ice. Cyclists from VeloCity will participate in their traditional New Year's Day ride. They plan to leave the shop on Eighth Street east of College Avenue at 1 p.m.
When Noah Douglas Vanderlaan arrived at 7:57 a.m. Monday, the infant became the newest member of a family Dec. 27 birthday club. Kristin Vanderlaan, his mother, was born on that same date 32 years ago -- just one minute later. Kristin's father, Brian Evenson, 61, of Hudson, was born Dec. 27, 1943. The family held a birthday party Monday night at Holland Hospital, celebrating with three candles on the cake.
Part of a series of stories on people who made news locally in 2004 Tommy Turtle went nationwide in 2004. The chocolate, caramel and pecan concoction brought the popular Douglas Avenue ice cream shop, Captain Sundae, and owner Karen Van Dam, national attention -- not once, but twice. First, the treat was featured on NBC's "Today" show in July, then President Bush tried the delicacy himself, when he made a brief stop at Captain Sundae before a campaign appearance..."
Helping consumers import cheaper drugs from Canadian pharmacies has become Elizabeth Gordon's mission. Gordon, a Byron Center resident, will open a store Jan. 4 at 334 Washington Ave. in Zeeland that will help local residents have prescriptions filled in Canada. "Dutch people know the value of a dollar, and they don't like to be taken," Gordon said. "Our customers are not asking for free medication -- they just want a fair price."
The children of Juliann Emily Brenner always said their mother would be the one on Oprah surviving the unbeatable disease. Brenner, who suffered from Lieo Meyo Sarcomo, a cancer known for its rarity and destruction, died Thursday at the age of 60. "That just wasn't God's plan, I guess," said Sheri VanMalsen, Brenner's daughter. VanMalsen says her mother's will was incredible. "Everyone else with that type of cancer usually dies shortly after they get it," she said.
Holland High School junior Ngoc Pham made her English teacher jealous when she told him she published a book of poems she wrote in his class. "He told me, 'Wow, you published a book before I did,'" Pham said with a smile as she looked proudly at her self-published anthology, titled "The Battles of Life." A native of Vietnam who moved to the United States when she was 7, Pham started writing poetry under the instruction of Joel Dummer, her freshman English teacher...
Spencer Higgs couldn't stop smiling as he gave away all his hard-earned money Thursday morning. Higgs, a 10-year-old who runs his own small business, has been saving since November. He donated his profits to children at the Holland Rescue Mission. "It's cool because I'm actually helping out with them since some of them have such hard lives, I think I can make it easier," he said. "I am very, very proud," said Spencer's father,
After two months of sleeping, eating and breathing paper cranes, a group of fourth-graders at Glerum Elementary finally reached its goal of making 1,000 cranes. "Our goal was to finish them before Christmas break," teacher Lisa Snyder said. The class at the West Ottawa school had built 998 when the bell rang to dismiss school on Monday. "They had to leave because of the bell and I volunteered to make the last two, but they wouldn't let me," Snyder said. "They wanted to
Chuck Rich has been covering Zeeland Township for MacTV since local governments began taping meetings. Rich found out Tuesday that it would be his last night at Zeeland Township. "I feel badly," said Rich. "I feel the citizens are the ones who are going to be suffering." The township unanimously decided to decline MacTV's new service fee and opted not to have their meetings taped.
With one trustee's cell phone ringing and the new mayor a little unclear on parliamentary procedure, the first meeting of the new Douglas City Council Monday wasn't smooth. But the new council members and a room full of supporters celebrated Douglas' new cityhood with humor and good spirits.
With just five days left until Christmas, many shoppers are scrambling around trying to get last minute gifts and necessities for the holidays. The Saturday before the holiday is now regarded as one of the busiest shopping days of the entire year. Kathy Camburn of Holland finished up her holiday shopping Saturday morning at Target. "We got mostly stocking stuffers," she said. "I finished up the seven grandchildren and the four moms and dads today."
Paul Formsma showed the community what a real firefighter looks like when he and other volunteers helped replace toys that were stolen earlier this month. Formsma, a volunteer with the Zeeland Township Fire Department, and other members of his department were upset when a man impersonated a firefighter to steal toys from a Toys for Tots bin at the Dollar General on Homestead Street in Zeeland. "It was a slap in the face to us," said Formsma.
If Holland High School senior Veronica Ybarra is known for anything, it would be her compassion and ability to stand up for what she believes in. Ybarra, who recently received a Mayor's Youth Recognition Award, is known by her teachers for her passionate opinions and concern for her classmates. "She is a wonderful role model, especially for our Hispanic young women," said Sharon Eicher, Ybarra's life science teacher who nominated her for the award.
Donations uniting family for Christmas By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Dec 18, 2004 Monica Betts is getting her wish. And then some. Betts, 20, of Holland, was overwhelmed with support Friday after an article in The Sentinel told how she couldn't afford to bring her husband home for Christmas. Her husband, Nathan Betts, is a soldier in the National Guard who has been called to active duty. He is training in Wisconsin to prepare for an 18-month deployment to Iraq. Betts' phone began ringing at 6 a.m. Friday and didn't stop until late in the afternoon.
Students 'adopt' 97 U.S. soldiers By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Dec. 18, 2004 A class of hungry seventh-graders shared a room with 583 chocolate cookies Friday at Saugatuck Middle School. Amazingly enough, not one cookie was eaten. Students in Sonia Guardado's lifeskills class packaged the more than 49 dozen cookies to send to soldiers in Iraq. "They are probably scared and want to come home and cookies will make them feel better," said Katrina Phillips, 12, who is also writing letters to three soldiers.
Waiting for dad By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Dec. 17, 2004
The only thing Monica Betts wants for Christmas is the opportunity for her husband to see their son one more time before he is deployed to the Middle East. Nathan Betts, 24, a specialist in the National Guard, has been called to active duty and is undergoing training at Fort McCoy in LaCrosse, Wis. The Holland man spent just two weeks with his newborn son, named Nathan William, before he was sent to Wisconsin on Nov. 4. He was recently granted an unexpected holiday leave
Dr. Lawrence Edwin Schmidt was the kind of man who liked to help, but insisted on being in the background. Schmidt, 84, a Holland resident who founded Schmidt Veterinary Clinic, Vetpo Distributors and VED Co., died Monday. "He never liked the limelight. He didn't like to be boastful," Dick Schmidt said of his father. "It's just the way he lived. He did a lot for different people, but he always did it behind the scenes.
On the mend By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Dec. 13, 2004
Some say cats have nine lives, but one adult female owl has proved that she has the perseverance to escape death over and over again. Even though the rehabilitated great horned owl couldn't fly at its scheduled release on Tuesday, veterinarians and employees at Holland's Outdoor Discovery Center, say it's a miracle that she is even alive. "Most of the time these birds are euthanized," said Travis Williams, director of the center. "At least she's not dead. ..."
Silvia Cardozo looks at her artwork, which decorates the windows of her workplace, with pride and with a sense of accomplishment. Cardozo, who works at the Taco Bell restaurant, 190 N. River Ave., has painted a Christmas winterland scene that draws customers' attention -- with red and white candy canes, dancing bears, sledding snowmen, Santa and his reindeer, holiday carolers, and two more snowmen helping each other place a star at the top of a tall green tree.
Travis Chittam, 12, a seventh-grader at Hamilton Middle School, got the new shiny bike he was hoping for Saturday when his neighbor took him to the annual Christian Neighbors Christmas Party at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Douglas. "I'm just tickled pink that he got it," said Tim DeRidder, Chittam's neighbor and recently retired case worker for Christian Neighbors, a non-profit organization that provides food and clothing to people who need them.
Ice is nice By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Dec. 11, 2004
Six students from the Grand Rapids Community College culinary program will bear chain saws today in Centennial Park as they attempt to turn a 300-pound block of ice into art in just three hours. The Holland Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau is hosting the fourth annual Dutch WinterFest Ice Sculpting Competition at the park at 9 a.m. "It's really fun to watch them start with a huge block of ice and chain saw and end with an ornate piece of art using very small and delicate tools,"
Collecting hope By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Dec. 10, 2004
What started as Hope alumnus Noah Tucker's mission has turned into a passionate cause for several Hope College students. Hope for Nations, a student organization at the college, is again hosting the citywide clothing drive and sale Trading Closets to raise money for a learning center in central Asia. Last year's drive was the first fund-raising project the organization oversaw.
If local government officials want their meetings aired on MacTV, they're going to have to pay for it. Starting Jan. 1, MacTV is implementing a fee of $250 per hour to tape a meeting. Chris Gould, the station's executive director, said the fee is designed to cover the cost of staffing a meeting, equipment maintenance, video archiving and administrative costs. "This is not a money-making thing for us," Gould said.
Fennville residents have a lot of reasons to keep their spirits high. The community has been working together to plan the town's annual holiday events. After the town's annual holiday parade Friday, organizers of Fennville's holiday events hope that residents will bust a move to Christmas favorites and songs like "The Chicken Dance" and "The Hokey Pokey" at the first Holiday Family Dance.
Fennville Superintendent Mark Dobias, who helped the district pass a bond initiative earlier this year, was rewarded with a raise Monday night. The school board voted to raise Dobias' salary from $95,000 to $102,244, an increase of 7.6 percent. "It is way overdue," said trustee Ric Curtis. "This will bring it to a more competitive level, but still below average."
Missing pet posters decorating neighborhood trees could become a thing of the past. A big draw at Saturday's open house at the Harbor Humane Society was an identification microchip that can be injected into a pet. "We want to get them microchipped so we don't have to hold them," said Heidi Yates, development director for the shelter. The microchip, which is the size of a grain of rice, is injected under the skin of the animal, usually near the shoulders.
The Ottawa County Road Commission plans on spending about $1.7 million for new pavement next year to improve local roads -- nearly doubling the $850,000 spent in 2004. The plan was shared last week at the annual meeting the road agency hosts with invited guests from all 17 townships, along with county commissioners. The road agency said it's trying to focus more on improving the local county road network.
Gene Key, 83, of Holland, didn't feel comfortable bothering God with something as trivial as a bell ringing ceremony. Her friend, Fannie Hawkins, 55, of Holland, didn't think God would mind. "God, he cares about what we care about, even little bitty stuff," said Hawkins who prayed Gene would be selected to ring the bell at a Nov. 10 memorial service for the wreck of the freighter S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald.
Leave it to Saugatuck to have a variety of Santas and dogs in costume at its annual Christmas parade. The city's holiday parade begins today at 1 p.m. in front of the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St. The parade will move toward Butler Street, finishing at Wicks Park. Parade organizer Ginna Berghuis said the parade will feature Saugatuck's town crier, a float from Macatawa Bank, costumed greyhounds, Girl Scouts, Santa and Mrs. Claus and fire trucks.
For the first time Saturday, the people of Texas will hear the clomping of Holland's wooden shoes. Sixty-four members of the Holland High School marching band -- with their 128 wooden shoes -- were scheduled to leave at 6 a.m. today to participate in Dallas' annual Neiman Marcus Adolphus Children's Parade. The band will travel by charter bus to Chicago and then fly to Dallas. "It's going to be the first time that Texas is going to hear our shoes and see us perform..."
Scout's honor By Beth Walton The Holland Sentinel Published: Nov. 30, 2004
Mike LaBelle was on a deadline. With less than a month before his 18th birthday, the West Ottawa High School senior had to complete a major service project to earn his Eagle badge -- the highest rank in Boy Scouts. "With any other opportunity in life you are given the opportunity to try again," said Peter LaBelle, Mike's scoutmaster and father. "With the Eagle Scouts, once you turn 18, you're done."
Sixth-graders Ashley DeWeerdt and Kendy Kamps learned a couple of weeks ago that it's not always a bad thing when you get called to the principal's office. The assistant principal at Hamilton Middle School recently told the two girls that they both placed in the Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation's annual poster contest. "The assistant principal called me down to the office and I was really nervous because that normally doesn't happen to me," DeWeerdt said.
Downtown shoppers had no trouble hearing the sounds of Christmas as three boys from the Holland High School Marching Band played Christmas carols while members from the Holland City Fire Department rang bells. The Salvation Army kicked off its annual kettle drive at noon Friday at the Sand Castle for Kids at the corner of Eighth Street and Central Avenue. "It feels like it's Christmas already," said Matt Oosterhouse, 17, a Holland High School senior, putting his trumpet down.
It was 5:30 a.m. when Cortney and Mary Lokker arrived at the Target store in Holland Township Friday, but that was far too late to get them a spot at the head of the line for a post-Thanksgiving sale. The Park Township mother and daughter had planned carefully for the outing, spending Thursday night poring over newspaper inserts trying to find the best deals on the traditional first day of the Christmas shopping season.
No matter how tough Bob Dorton's 11-year-old mentee is, he's still a kid, and he still need friends. When Dorton, a retired manufacturing agent from West Olive received a phone call from his mentee's mother asking him to visit her son at the Ottawa County juvenile detention center, he knew his work as a mentor was worthwhile. "She couldn't make the visiting hours and I know he was grateful," said Dorton. "He can be a tough kid but he is still 11...."
When Patricia Huyge, chairwoman of the Saugatuck Citizens Committee for Holiday Lighting, says let there be light Friday, there will be light -- and lots of it. At about 7:15 p.m., a switch will be flipped and more than 500,000 holiday lights will make the city of Saugatuck glow. The annual celebration of one of the Midwest's biggest Christmas lighting projects starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Wicks Park gazebo in downtown Saugatuck.
After four years of development, and more than a year of traveling, the Allegan County Children's Museum is about to get a permanent home. Mary Kasprzyk, director and founder of the museum, said the facility will be in Fennville. She said it will open no later than 2006, but she would like a 2005 opening. "It has always been our goal to have a permanent home," Kasprzyk said. "The community is very accepting of the project."
Lindsay Timmerman crossed the finish line before anyone else at Saturday's Girls on Track 5K race. However, Timmerman, an 11-year-old Hamilton Middle School student, knows that she isn't the only one to take first place. Timmerman, along with 217 other girls from Ottawa and Allegan counties, were all named No. 1 at the race, cosponsored by the Center for Women in Transition and Warmone Women's Soccer Inc.
Zeeland Township Board members Tuesday unanimously voted against providing utility financing for developments on Byron Road. There are three possible development sites on the north side of Byron Road. Developers of the projects have been asking board members whether the township would be willing to pay some of the costs to install a main power line on the road. "It's not just them, it's us," township Supervisor Brad Slagh said.
Fennville school teachers will receive a 1.5 percent salary increase, retroactive to the start of the school year. The board of education unanimously approved the pay increase Monday night. Board members waited until after the school year began to vote on the salary increase so they could have better information on student enrollment and other budgetary issues, board President Tony Lungaro said.
Black River Public School freshman David Bos didn't expect to be a sideshow on his first trip overseas, but that is exactly what the 14-year-old from Park Township became. Bos spent three weeks in India with his grandfather, Tom Bos of Holland, on a trip sponsored by Rotary International. In addition to seeing the country, the two helped administer polio vaccines to children -- and became an attraction themselves.