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Dead man's family protests plea deal for Holland shooter


ALLEGAN, Mich. (WZZM) -- Family members of a Holland man shot to death in January say the person who pulled the trigger, 18-year-old Davon Walker, should stand trial for murder.

Walker made a deal with prosecutors, and on Monday he pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the death of 22-year-old Derrick Ruff Shingles. Following court proceedings, the victim's mother led a protest of the plea deal, calling it an insult to her family.

"My heart is broken; it's crushed into many small pieces," says Lisa Ruff, the mother of Derrick Ruff-Shingles.

Despite being heartbroken, she came all the way from Chicago to lead the demonstration. She questioned the plea deal given to the man who killed her son.

"They are charging him [Davon Walker] with manslaughter; he should have been charged with first-degree murder," says Ruff.

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My Town: Hundreds of students heading to state tournament

My Town: Hundreds of students heading to state tournament

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A battle of the brains will include hundreds of West Michigan students in May.

Seventeen local teams made the cut during the Michigan Science Olympiad Regional 12 Tournament at Grand Valley State University last weekend.  Eleven middle school teams from Division B and six high school teams from Division C advanced to the State Tournament, including:

Division B

  • 1. Lakeshore Middle School
  • 2. Jenison Junior High School
  • 3. Chandler Woods Charter
  • 4. East Grand Rapids Middle School
  • 5. Allendale Middle School
  • 6. Harbor Lights Middle School
  • 7. Plymouth Christian Middle School
  • 8. White Pines Intermediate
  • 9. Macatawa Bay Middle School
  • 10. Grandville Middle School
  • 11. Dutton Christian Middle School
  • Alternate: Forest Hills Central Middle School

 

Division C

My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—With spring break fast approaching, many West Michigan families are fine-tuning their travel plans—and so are thieves.

Most West Michigan schools will be out of session April 3-10, so families can take a vacation.  East Grand Rapids Public Safety Director Mark Herald says this is the time homeowners need to step up safety measures.  Herald shares seven ways to make your home less attractive to thieves:

My Town: Hope Partnership with IU Maurer School of Law provides scholarships, mentoring

My Town: Hope Partnership with IU Maurer School of Law provides scholarships, mentoring

HOLLAND, Mich. – A new partnership between Hope College and the Indiana University Maurer School of Law provides an outstanding opportunity for graduating Hope seniors and alumni seeking to pursue careers as attorneys.

The Hope College Law Scholars Program, which will begin this fall, guarantees that the highly competitive, three-year J.D. program will reserve two spots for qualified Hope graduating seniors or alumni, in addition to providing scholarship support equal to at least half the cost of tuition and access to a formal mentoring program.

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Holland auto dealer celebrates 50 years in business


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - Jeff Elhart is the rare person who feels having colon cancer was "good fortune." Elhart reflected on his medical challenge in the midst of Wednesday's celebration of his family business marking 50 years.

Five years ago, Elhart received a letter from Chrysler that was, in effect, a death notice. Chrysler said that due to "the unprecedented decline" in the auto industry, it was forced to terminate Elhart as a Dodge and Jeep dealer. General Motors, meantime, eliminated its Pontiac brand, so in just a few months Elhart lost half its franchise offerings.

Surrounded by hundreds of customers, friends, and family, Jeff Elhart said receiving the news in 2009 was made easier by the challenge he faced four months earlier - a diagnosis of colon cancer.

Fire destroys Park Township home


PARK TWP., Mich. (WZZM) - A home is a complete loss after a morning fire in Ottawa County.

No one was hurt. A resident in the home on Red Pine Court smelled smoke and opened a door and saw flames. Another resident was at work at the time.

When the fire was called in, dispatchers said they could hear the fire over the phone.


Marine's death a painful reminder for another's father


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's been almost two weeks since the death of Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif. The Holland man was one of seven Marines and four soldiers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in Florida.

Staff Sgt. Seif's death is a painful reminder to the father of a Holland Marine who died almost three years ago: Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Price died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in the summer of 2012.

"As long as I have breath, I'll tell people about it," says Karl Price, father of Daniel Price.

Not every wound is visible. Karl Price showed WZZM 13 the pride and pain he carries with him: a dog tag and hero bracelet to remember his son.

"There's a lot of pride there, but there's also a lot of hurt that doesn't go away," says Price.