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West Ottawa coach charged with sex crime


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- After a lengthy investigation, a West Ottawa high school coach is now charged with a sex crime.

On Wednesday, 34-year-old Matthew Powell was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, accused of inappropriately touching a female student.

WZZM 13 has been following the investigation for weeks, which began when a concerned parent came forward. After interviewing several witnesses, investigators believe there was one 16-year-old victim.

"Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct essentially involves inappropriate touching, and that's what he's charged with; that best fit the scenario," said Captain Mark Bennett with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Powell, a wrestling coach and special education teacher, is charged in connection to his alleged relationship with a female student.

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Holland Marine buried in Arlington


ARLINGTON, Va. (ABC) -- The steady, pouring rain was fitting for the occasion. It was a military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif, killed in a training accident one month ago.

Exactly one week after being awarded the Navy's third-highest award for valor, the Silver Star, Seif's helicopter went down in heavy fog off the coast of Florida, killing all on board. Among the dead were some of the most highly trained Marines and Army pilots: 11 men from Marine Special Operations Command, knowns as MARSOC, and two pilots and two crewmembers from the Louisiana National Guard.

It's a stark reminder that the risks associated with military service aren't always on the battlefield.

The wives of the men killed have traveled together to each funeral service, offering support for one another.

Holland Mayor Dykstra will not seek re-election


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra has announced that he will not seek re-election to a fourth term as mayor.

Mayor Dykstra posted an open letter to the people of Holland Tuesday saying that over the past few days, "positive events have occurred in my family and professional life; these events, however, mean that I will not seek re-election."

To read the complete letter, see here:

According to the city's website, Dykstra was Fifth Ward Councilmember from 2005-2009 and then Holland's 40th Mayor, from 2009 to 2015. City elections for mayor will be in November 2015.

In an interview after the announcement Dykstra said it's been a privilege to serve the people of Holland.

"Hopefully people will look back on these years and say he wasn't perfect but he did a pretty good job,"


Keyan Hogan, Max Heerema to lead Kinderparade


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two remarkable West Michigan children we first told you about late last year have some excitement ahead.

Keyan Hogan and her friend Max Heerema will be the grand marshals for the Kinderparade during this year's Tulip Time.

Last December, we reported on Max's effort to raise money to cover Keyan's medical costs. She needs around-the-clock medical care stemming from her premature birth.

Max's efforts have raised more than $16,000 so far.

The Kinderparade is Thursday, May 7. Learn more about it here.


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Big box tax discounts cost Ottawa Co. $745K


HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A growing trend among big box stores is costing Michigan schools and local governments thousands of dollars in tax revenue. As a region, Ottawa County has lost nearly $750,000 over the past few years, because local stores have appealed their property tax rates and then received major discounts.

WZZM 13 spoke to county leaders who are calling on state lawmakers to make changes.

At shopping centers along US-31 in Holland Township, it's usually the customers looking for a bargain -- but some of the stores are getting the biggest discounts.

"Well over 50 percent, it's a large reduction," said Ottawa County equalization director Michael Galligan. He's describing the recent property tax savings for some big box stores.

"We're talking about stores like Meijer, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes," said Galligan.

Three injured in head on crash in Holland


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - Holland police are investigating a head on crash that injured three people Sunday afternoon. Holland police say a 19 year old Zeeland man driving South on Waverly Rd. lost control of his car after crossing Chicago Drive.

He went into oncoming traffic hitting a second car head on. Two Holland residents in that car were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. One of them was pinned in the car during the crash, a third person in the crash was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The crash is still under investigation but police believe excessive speed may have played a role in the crash.


Coast Guard helicopter helps boaters surrounded by ice


HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - A group of fishermen are safe after receiving help from a Coast Guard helicopter on Saturday. They were on a boat in Lake Michigan fishing around 11:30 in the morning.

They were reeling in a fish near Holland State Park, when ice formations surrounded their boat. The boat was unable to maneuver away from the ice and started floating further out into the lake. A Coast Guard helicopter was sent to help after a call was made to 911.

The helicopter hovered over the boat, using the downward blast of air to separate the ice from the boat allowing the fishermen to get away from the ice formations and get to shore.