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My Town Holland: Harbor Humane Society seeks roof donations

My Town Holland: Harbor Humane Society seeks roof donations

HOLLAND, Mich.—The extremely rough winter has taken a toll on Harbor Humane Society.

The nonprofit is now asking for donations to help replace its roof, which was damaged by massive ice dams, leaks and water damage.

“Our roof was already in need of dire repair due to age, the unprecedented snowfalls this season has accelerated the demise of our roof. We were not planning on this unexpected expense now, but we have 200 to 300 furry little faces on any given day who we’re charged with keeping warm and dry and safe,” says Operations Director Jeff Stiegman.

Harbor Humane Society’s goal is to raise $50,000 to replace the roof and repair other resulting damages. If you’d like to help, tax-deductible donations can be made online through the Harbor Humane Society website or by sending a check to:

 Harbor Humane Society

14345 Bagley

 West Olive, 49460

My Town Holland: Train from Chicago gets stuck in snow in Michigan

My Town Holland: Train from Chicago gets stuck in snow in Michigan

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) - Amtrak says one of its passenger trains traveling from Chicago to Grand Rapids was delayed nearly three hours after getting stuck in a snow drift in Michigan.

Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm tells The Associated Press the Pere Marquette line train was about 8 miles west of Holland, Mich., on Thursday night when CSX railroad directed the train into a side track for a freight train to pass. The Amtrak train got stuck on the side track. Kulm says a CSX locomotive pulled out the Amtrak train. He says the Amtrak train and its 64 passengers arrived in Grand Rapids around midnight.

No one was injured and Kulm says the train had power for lights and heat at all times. He says Amtrak is apologizing to those affected by the delay.

Road budgets broken by long, harsh West Michigan winter

Road budgets broken by long, harsh West Michigan winter

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—The West Michigan winter is carrying on, even though the Ottawa County Road Commission budget has dried up.

The road commission says $2.6 million was budgeted for winter-related work on roads, but more than $3.4 million has already been spent this year. The Michigan Department of Transportation has also had its budget blown by the extreme winter conditions.  MDOT had budgeted $1.3 million for winter maintenance of state highways in Ottawa County; so far it’s already spent more than $1.7 million.

The Ottawa County Road Commission will review its budget plan in April and likely cut back some planned road improvement projects and other maintenance activities to balanace the budget.

My Town Holland: Ski slope takes shape on Eighth Street

My Town Holland: Ski slope takes shape on Eighth Street

HOLLAND, Mich.—You don’t need to look to Sochi to the next generation of snowboarders and skiers showcase their skills.

Holland will host the Downtown Rail Jam this Saturday, Feb. 22.   The event will kick off when AGA Nation, in conjunction with the Holland Visitors Bureau unveils its new, temporary 20-foot snowboard and ski slope on East Eighth Street.

The Downtown Rail Jam will take place in the open area across from the Knickerbocker Theatre, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The event is free and the slope is open to boarders, skiers and sled-riders of all ages from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., with a free clinic included.  Demonstrations and competitions will take place from 5 p.m.

Residents asked to help tackle dangerous snow piles

Residents asked to help tackle dangerous snow piles

HOLLAND, Mich.—While higher temperatures may melt some of the snow, the City of Holland is hoping residents will also help eliminate snow dangers with the help of their shovels.

The city says it does not have enough manpower or equipment to clear every street corner of high snows, so community members are asked to help by shoveling up snow piles blocking visibility and move them several feet away, increasing visibility.  

Drivers are also asked to pull into driveways so they do not block sidewalks, and private plow operators should remove “windrows” that block sidewalks.  Property owners are also reminded to follow the city’s ordinance and clear their sidewalks. Residents and businesses are also encouraged to clear bus pick up areas.

More than 115 inches of snow have fallen in Holland this winter.

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The recent winter storms and extremely cold temperatures are taking a toll on donations to the American Red Cross.

The organization says more than 7070 blood drives were cancelled last month because of the weather—leading to a loss of more than 25,000 blood and platelet donations. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood each day to supply medical centers. 

“While thousands of people from across the country responded to the call for blood and platelet donations issued by the Red Cross in January, there continues to be an urgent need for blood donors with type O, especially type O negative,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region.

Kulman says the recent uptick in cold and flu cases is also taking a toll on blood donations.   Community members are encouraged to donate blood at one of the following drives:

  • Feb. 4, 12 p.m.

Holland man makes record-setting catch on Muskegon Lake

Holland man makes record-setting catch on Muskegon Lake

MUSKEGON, Mich.—A Holland man has reeled in a Michigan record, with the help of a spoon.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Aaron Slagh caught a record-setting white perch from Muskegon Lake in Muskegon County.  The fish weighed 1.93 pounds and measured 13.25 inches.  Slagh was ice fishing with a spoon when he landed the record fish, which was verified by a biologist from the Muskegon field office.

“It was just another normal day on the ice for me, as I get out as much as I can,” said Slagh. “We were actually targeting yellow perch and I thought I had a walleye. When we pulled it up we thought ‘Holy cow – that’s a big white perch!’”

Michigan’s previous white perch record was set on July 13, 2002 by Kyle Ryan on Lake Huron.  His fish weighed 1.88 pounds and measured 13.25 inches.

Slagh’s fish is the second state record-breaker caught this month.