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Student pilot walking, talking after plane crash

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- A man is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries after a small plane crash.

The crash was reported in the 400 block of Lincoln Lake Ave. SE, near the Lowell City Airport south of Vergennes St., around 5:50 p.m. Monday.

The plane is a 1962 Cessna 172, a single-engine propeller aircraft, registered to Majestic Air. Majestic Air's website says the company provides flight training and other aviation experiences.

Authorities say the 40-year-old student pilot had been on a two-hour flight with his instructor prior to attempting a solo landing. In attempting the landing, the plane clipped some tall pine trees, sending the plane into a crash landing onto a property near the airport. The plane came to a stop on the property's driveway, very close to the house there.

Two hurt in crash near Lowell

LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- Alden Nash Avenue closed at McPherson Street NE during the morning commute due to a serious crash. The accident happened just after 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Initial reports said that there are serious injuries. Two people were hurt with non-life threatening injuries.

We'll have more details when they become available.

My Town: Chase Bank closing a dozen branches

My Town: Chase Bank closing a dozen branches

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Many Chase Bank customers will have to travel farther to attend to their accounts in person.

At least a dozen Chase Bank branches at Meijer stores are closing, after both companies agreed to cut ties. In a response sent to WZZM 13, a spokesperson for Meijer says “circumstances have changed and we mutually agreed to end the relationship.”  The decision comes just a couple years after Meijer announced Huntington Bank branches would be opening at some of its stores.

The following Chase Bank branches are expected to close:

My Town: Mail-in cancer tests, produce programs get state funding

My Town: Mail-in cancer tests, produce programs get state funding

LANSING, Mich. – Making fruits and vegetables more readily available, cancer screenings by mail, health coaches and exercise programs are just several of the local initiatives getting funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The MDCH recently announced 44 projects are getting approximately $1.34 million, including a dozen projects in West Michigan.  The grants include:

My Town: What 2015 will hold for West Michigan's economy

My Town: What 2015 will hold for West Michigan's economy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- Consumers in West Michigan are more optimistic about what 2015 will bring.

In fact, consumers in this market are the most optimistic in the region, according to a new study released by Huntington Bank.  The financial firm found local residents say they are much more likely to buy a new vehicle this year; 17 percent said they plan to purchase a new car, compared to just four percent in 2014.

Home improvement stores may also be busy; 47-percent of West Michiganders surveyed for the Huntington Bank Midwest Economic Index said they were planning some home renovations for 2015, compared to 32 percent in 2014.

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mark Jansen tops the list of West Michigan lawmakers who missed the most votes this year, according to the Missed Votes Report compiled by Jack McHugh, editor of MichiganVotes.org.

Jansen missed 46 votes between January and December of this year. The District 28 Republican represents a large portion of Kent County, including Ada, Algoma, Alpine, Cannon, Courtland, Grand Rapids and Plainfield townships, as well as East Grand Rapids, Rockford, Walker and Wyoming.

State Rep. Jon Bumstead, who represents Newaygo, Lake and Oceana counties, had the most missed votes among West Michigan lawmakers in the House, with 21 this year.  

Three senators and three representatives missed 50 or more votes this year.  The top offenders were Rep. John Olumba of Detroit, with 233 missed votes, and Sen. Bert Johnson of Detroit, with 187 missed votes.

Mich. officer hands out gifts instead of tickets

BELLEVUE, Mich. (Trace Christenson, Battle Creek Enquirer) – The penalty for rolling through a stop sign Monday night in this small town was a sandwich.

A broken headlight might mean a dinner for two.

Bellevue Police Officer Edward Michela was handing out more gift cards than tickets four days before Christmas, and he was having fun.

"When they get stopped for an infraction they are going to think they are going to get a ticket," Michela said sitting in a dark patrol car. "But it's that old saying: 'It's better to give than receive.' I love to see the expression on people's faces."

Michela, 43, an officer in the Eaton County village since 2000, decided he wanted to give a little during the holiday season.

He saw a story about Lowell police officers giving gifts to motorists and then another about a sheriff's deputy in Florida handing out gift cards.