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City council fires Lowell city manager

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Lowell City Council voted to fire City Manager Mark Howe.

Council members voted 4 to 1 on Tuesday in favor of firing Howe. According to the Lowell city clerk, no specific reason was given.

Jim Hodges was the only council member to vote no.

Lowell schools launch app to keep parents informed

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Lowell Area Schools district says it's the first in Kent County to launch a free app providing important information to parents.

District leaders qoute a statistic saying there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2016, and people expect to have information at their fingertips.

The app will include a staff list, school calendars, and a link to Infinite Campus, where parents can find students' grades and missing assignments.

Best of all, they say: it's a free download for your mobile device.

Learn more about the app at this link.

Caledonia man killed in crash on slippery road in Lowell

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM)-- Slippery road conditions may have caused the crash that killed a 23 year old Caledonia man.

Kent County Deputies responded to the accident in the 3100 block of Alden Nash just before 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

They say Tyler Kroll was driving southbound in a Pontiac Grand Prix and 67 year old Carol Ingrim from Greenville was driving northbound in a Chevy Impala, when the two collided.

Kroll was pronounced dead at the scene, and Ingrim was taken to Spectrum with minor injuries.

There were no other passengers, and alcohol is not a factor in the crash.

The accident is still under investigation.

Man charged in intoxicated driving crash that killed girlfriend

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Lowell man has been charged with intoxicated driving causing death following an August crash on Vergennes Road SE that killed his girlfriend.

Brian Daniel Welch Jr., 22, was intoxicated when his Ford Taurus left the road on Aug. 19 and struck a tree, court records show. His front-seat passenger was killed.

A blood draw indicated the presence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system, according to records in 63rd District Court.Police said Welch does not have a medical marijuana card.

Welch appeared in court Friday for a probable cause hearing on the felony charge. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 30.

The crash on Vergennes near Alden Nash Avenue SE was discovered about 7 a.m. by a Grand Rapids police officer who happened upon the scene.

Lowell HS needs your vote to win $100,000

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- Lowell High School is among the top 100 finalists in a national competition for $100,000. It's sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

A portion of the money would be used to educate students on safe driving habits under a program called "Drive 2N2." The idea is to drive with two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road.

District officials say any money not used for the driver safety program would be divided equally between the arts, technology, and athletics.

Teachers, coaches, and advisors at the high school are eligible to apply for grants in those areas. Two years ago, Lowell High School won $25,000, which funded 13 grants at the high school.

Two suspects sought after purse theft at Meijer

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- Deputies in Ionia County are asking for your help to identify two people they believe stole a purse from a car parked at the Meijer in Lowell.

Within an hour of the theft, the suspects tried to use a credit card from the purse at different stores in Saranac. The suspects were unsuccessful, as the victim froze her account before the card could be used.

If you have any information, please call the Ionia County Sheriff's Office at 616-527-5737 or Silent Observer at 616-527-0107.

MSP found no evidence of remains of missing Saranac man

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan State Police said Friday afternoon that they have found no evidence of the remains of Donald Dietz, a Saranac man who has been missing since 2007, but will conduct tests on metal grating dug up behind a Lowell garage after a cadaver dog indicated the presence of human remains at the excavation site.

The metal grating was dug up last Saturday at the Lowell home previously owned by Rami Saba, who was linked to Dietz' disappearance early on. Vic Weeks, a private investigator from Lowell, brought in a cadaver dog after unearthing the grates.

“We could see charred remains of what we weren’t sure, so we called the cadaver dog in,’’ Weeks said. “He did one dig, one sniff and sat down. And boy, was that good to see.’’

Michigan State Police are less convinced. Its cadaver dog did not indicate the presence of human remains behind Bowes Street garage, said state police Detective Rob Davis.