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School of Choice for Teachers

School of Choice for Teachers

Thanks to Schools of Choice programs in Michigan, students are afforded the opportunity to choose a school environment that best meets their learning needs. These programs also offer our state’s educators opportunities to teach in environments that are best suited for them. Just as some teachers flourish in a traditional school, there are those who prefer teaching at a virtual public school, such as Michigan Connections Academy, the school where I teach.

I work with an incredible team of teachers – they are state-certified, specially trained in online learning, recognized as Highly Qualified under the guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act—and live in Michigan. In fact, even though we teach in a virtual school, more than 60 teachers travel to the school’s office in Lansing every day to lead online instruction for more than 1,700 students across Michigan in grades kindergarten through 12.

Two dead, two hurt in Alto crash


ALTO, Mich. (WZZM) – Two people were killed and two others hurt in a crash Saturday afternoon in eastern Kent County.

The accident happened around 4:45 p.m. at Pratt Lake Avenue and 64th Street, south of Lowell.

Kent County Sheriff's deputies say 78-year old Hazel Scobey of Middleville, rolled a Chrysler Town & Country minivan through a stop sign at the intersection and in front of a pick-up truck, which had the right-of-way. The force of the collision caused both vehicles to rollover.

Scobey and her passenger, 63-year old Lois Peterson, also of Middleville, were killed.

The pickup driver and his passenger were hospitalized but are expected to recover. Officials say neither speed, nor alcohol appear to have been a factor.


Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids Awarded AdvancED Accreditation

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids Awarded AdvancED Accreditation

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids, a “blended” tuition-free public high school for students in grades 9-12, has been awarded accreditation from the national accreditation commission, AdvancED. The accreditation report praised Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids for its ability to: effectively use technology to align student schedules based on needs; provide students with immediate feedback on assignments; and to operate the school in an efficient manner for student success.

“Receiving the AdvancED accreditation demonstrates our commitment to excellence and the high quality of our school,” said Dan McMinn, Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids principal.

Drunk driver sentenced in mother's death


GRAND RAPIDS (Mich.) The drunk driver who killed a mother of five in Lowell Township could be heading to prison for more than two decades. Just before Jay Hobbs was sentenced for the February crash, the victim's family asked the judge to protect other families from the same situation.

The victim's husband, Ali Beha, described losing his wife in the February crash as an "unleashing of evil." Tonya Beha was pushing her van on the Alden Nash bridge after running out of gas, when Hobbs struck her. Seven people were in the van, including three of her children. Hobbs tried to run from the scene, but was arrested a short time later.

Last month, Hobbs pleaded no contest to drunk driving causing death. On Monday, the judge sentenced Hobbs to between 6 and 22 years in prison. Just before the sentencing, Ali Beha described an emotional conversation he had with his six year old daughter.

Alden Nash overpass re-opened after crews complete bridge slide project


Lowell, Mich. (WZZM) - The Alden Nash Bridge over Interstate 96 in Lowell reopened to traffic this morning as constructions crews completed a bridge slide that took place over the weekend.

Workers used nearly 500,000 pounds of pressure and dish-washing liquid to slide the new bridge into place. The new one replaces the 50-year-old Alden Nash overpass.

"With each push, it's supposed to move the bridge 3 to 3 1/2 feet. We're talking 470,000 pounds of lateral pressure pushing the bridge. You've got a jack on each end, and another jack in the middle, and a pulling jack on the other side to get that initial nudge going, and break that friction," said John Richard. Spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The technique adds about $2 million more on the cost of the project, but saved drivers months of lane closures.

M-50 bridge slide underway; I-96 detoured


UPDATE 10/18: According to MDOT, I-96 is back open, but drivers should expect shoulder closures near the overpass. M-50 will continue to be detoured through Monday morning as they complete the bridge project.

LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - A unique construction project underway could delay drivers on I-96 in Lowell Township.

MDOT crews are working on sliding a bridge into place at an interchange. Other projects have used the bridge slide technique already, but this is the state's first bridge slide at an interchange.

The new bridge is replacing the 50-year-old Alden Nash overpass. The old one was demolished several months ago, and traffic has been using the new bridge in its temporary location.

MDOT says the bridge slide costs about $2 million more than the traditional construction method, but it saved drivers months of lane closures.

Caledonia blanks Lowell


CALEDONIA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Caledonia knocked off state-ranked Lowell 33-0 Friday night.

The Fighting Scots handed the Red Arrows their first shutout loss in 16 years.

Caledonia, which qualified for the state playoffs with its sixth win, led 20-0 at the half.