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Holland police unveil race car to keep new drivers safe

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM)-Holland police are turning to a race car to help keep young drivers safe.

The police department unveiled its 1995 Camaro drag race car at the station Wednesday. It's part of the department's new "Racing Through Education" program. Officers plan to use the car to teach teenagers and new drivers the dangers of street racing, distracted driving and driving drunk.

"We'll be at the track with this car at different events in blue jeans, t-shirts, no guns no badges; all there playing on a common ground," says Officer Doug VanderKooy, who set up the program. "We're all there just to have a good time and be safe and explain how we can have a good time without using any substances such as alcohol."

The Camaro was rebuilt using donations from area businesses and citizens. It will make stops at schools, city events and car shows.

School bus and car crash in Holland

HOLLAND, Michigan (WZZM) - A school bus and car collided in Holland this morning.

According to Holland Police, the crash happened about 6:45 am at River Avenue and 5th Street.

The school bus did not have any children on it at the time. The bus stopped at a railroad crossing when it was rear-ended by a car.

The driver of the car suffered a minor leg injury. The bus driver was not hurt.

Holland Police say the bus was from a private school in the area.

Scott VanderStoep Chosen for National Leadership Development Program

HOLLAND – Dr. Scott VanderStoep, professor of psychology and chairperson of the department at Hope College, is one of only 42 faculty or administrators in higher education nationwide selected by the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Academic Leadership Institute to participate in a year-long Senior Leadership Academy.

The purpose of the academy is to prepare faculty and administrators for senior leadership positions in any division—including academic affairs, student affairs, finance, enrollment management, and advancement—in independent higher education.  As a participant, VanderStoep will attend two seminars, one in the fall in Williamsburg, Va., on Friday-Sunday, Nov. 5–7, and one in the spring in Washington, D.C.

Holland Young Professionals give grants

Information from: Holland Young Professionals

FOUR LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVE GRANTS FROM HYP TO IMPROVE LEADERSHIP IN THE AREA
The grants reflect the group's new interest in philanthropy, leaders say.

HOLLAND - The Holland Young Professionals group announced this week it will distribute $10,000 in grants to four local groups during a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 9.

Each organization will receive a $2,500 check to further the leadership programs they have already started.

Members of HYP chose Latin Americans United for Progress, Greater Ottawa County United Way, Center for Faithful Leadership and Life Services Parent Center.

"It fits with our mission," said Barry Rice, HYP member. "One of our missions is to cultivate leaders in our community."

Graafschap Hardware celebrates 150 years

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM)- Owners of an Allegan County business are celebrating its 150th Anniversary this weekend. 

Graafschap Hardware, on 60th Street in Laketown Township, opened in 1860.  The original store still stands, though now it is an antique shop, across the street from the new hardware store.  The business is owned by the Lubbers family.  They say they're expecting their regular customers to visit this weekend for something other than nuts, bolts and ammunition.

Owner Harlan Lubbers says, "We know a lot of our people by name.  They've been customers for a long time, third generation a lot of these guys and women.  Another thing, we have a lot of women customers -- something that's changed in the last 35 years.  I would say that's good, too."

The store will hold a birthday bash Saturday, from 8a.m. - 5p.m., offering free food, door prizes and a $1,000 giveaway. 

Energetx Composites facility could be built next year

HOLLAND,  Mich. (WZZM)- A lakeshore company is moving ahead with plans to create hundreds of jobs related to alternative energy. 

The owners of Tiara Yachts in Holland created Energetx Composites to build blades for wind turbines.  This week the company optioned land for a new $6-million production facility.  It is also receiving a Renaissance Zone tax break from Holland Township. 

Construction could begin in early 2011.  Energetx could create at least 750 jobs by 2016.

High winds down trees and knock out power in Ottawa County

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM)- Consumers Energy confirms 150 customers in the West Olive and Grand Haven areas of Ottawa County are without power. 

The high winds along the lakeshore toppled some trees and damaging power lines. Service is expected to be restored to about 100 of those customers Friday night.  The other 50 or so customers in the hardest hit areas may not have electricity until mid-day Saturday. 

Consumers Energy says its crews are working as fast as possible to restore service.