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My Town Lowell: Peters cosponsors bill to complete North Country National Scenic Trail

My Town Lowell: Peters cosponsors bill to complete North Country National Scenic Trail

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U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) has announced that he is cosponsoring the North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment Act which would revise the North Country National Scenic Trail Route (NCNST) to protect environmentally sensitive areas of the trail and extend it into Vermont to connect with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

“Thousands of people come to the North Country Trail each year to enjoy the natural beauty of Michigan and our Great Lakes,” said Senator Peters. “Completing the Michigan portions of the North Country Trail will help provide new opportunities for conservation and outdoor recreation, increasing tourism to our state and the Great Lakes, and supporting local communities and businesses.”

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

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The Meijer Simply Give program – held three times a year – generated nearly $6 million in 2014 for food pantries throughout the Midwest, bringing the program’s overall donation total to nearly $14 million since it began in November 2008.

The retailer’s most recent campaign, which ended in January, was the most successful holiday campaign in the program’s history, resulting in a total of more than $1.8 million for hungry families.

Huge turnout at fundraiser for young parents with cancer


LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- Organizers in Lowell tell us they prepared enough food for 800 people, and because of the huge turnout, they had to run out to get more.

A spaghetti dinner fundraiser was held Friday night alongside the Lowell-East Grand Rapids basketball game.

The money raised will go to help Ben and Shelby Offrink, who are both fighting cancer while raising their two young daughters.

WZZM13's Bridgette Pacholka has more on the fundraiser in the video above.


Young parents both fighting cancer


LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- Friday night, members of a West Michigan community are rallying support for a husband and wife who are both fighting cancer. Ben and Shelby Offrink grew up in Lowell but their brave battle is touching the hearts of people all over.

"It feels really unfair to have all of this happen," said Jay Tomczak, Shelby's older brother.

This family has dealt with an unbelievable turn of events. But despite the pain, the Offrinks are determined to persevere. The couple has two small daughters, 3-year-old Maeve and Hazel who turned 1 in December.

Shortly after giving birth to Hazel prematurely, doctors discovered Shelby has a rare and incurable form of cancer on her spine. They diagnosed her with Stage IV glioblastoma.

This has been the most challenging year of their lives," Jay said.

Lowell PD offers safe meeting place for online deals


LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- People worried about whether they'll be safe doing business through Craigslist and other websites can ease those worries with help from the Lowell Police Department.

The police have invited buyers and sellers to arrange their meetings in the police department lobby.

Police say they hope it keeps scammers and other dangerous people from taking advantage of the Lowell community.

The Lowell Police Department is at 111 N. Monroe, and the lobby is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Bicyclist in serious condition after crash near Lowell


VERGENNES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A bicyclist was not conscious when he was taken to the hospital following a Tuesday afternoon traffic crash, according to authorities on the scene shortly after that accident.

The crash happened around 4 p.m. on Burroughs St. SE east of Lincoln Lake Ave.

Burroughs east of Lincoln Lake was closed for some time for the initial investigation.

The bicyclist, 58-year-old Michael Cyrocki of Lowell, was westbound on Burroughs when he was hit from behind by a 17-year-old Lowell boy who was driving a Chevrolet Impala.

The Sheriff Department says Cyrocki is in serious but stable condition. The teen was not injured.

The crash remains under investigation.


911 calls about Lowell plane crash released


LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- There were so many people who saw the January 19 plane crash at the Lowell City Airport that 911 dispatch was bombarded with emergency calls for help.

On Monday, the Kent County Sheriff's Department released some of the recordings of those calls.

The crash involved a student pilot attempting a solo landing. He realized he was coming in too fast to safely land at the airport, but when he tried to gain altitude to come back around for another approach, his small Cessna stalled, clipped some trees, and dropped straight down onto the driveway of a home on Lincoln Lake Ave., prompting the string of 911 calls.

"I would like to report a plane crash in Lowell; it happened about 10 seconds ago," one caller is heard reporting.

"I am in Lowell -- actually, right across from the Lowell airport -- and I just saw a small plane crash right before my eyes," another caller said.