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Silversides ceremony honors veterans

MUSKEGON - Members of the Greatest Generation - World War II veterans - received special honors Sunday at a service at the U.S.S. Silversides Museum. The Silversides is a submarine that is the most famous surviving submarine of WWII.

"That is why we are here today, very simply - to honor our heroes" said Russell Gallus, the Museum's executive director.

The events included a flyover by The Hooligans flight team, speeches, patriotic music, and a special dedication of a new memorial.

The memorial includes plaques bearing the names of every submarine lost on duty during World War II. Over 3500 sailors on those ships are now on "eternal patrol", Gallus said.

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Muskegon lighthouse open for tours

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Muskegon south pierhead lighthouse is now open for public tours.

The lighthouse is located at end of the inner pier near the Coast Guard station and is owned by the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy.

Previous summer tours were only offered during special events, but volunteers have opened the lighthouse to the public. Admission fees will allow the conservancy to work to open other lighthouses to the public as well.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Saturday morning.

Cindy Beth Davis-Dykema of the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy said the lighthouse will be open for tours on Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays. It's hoped that it will be open seven days a week in the future.

The conservancy is raising funds for and awareness of the lighthouse. It also hopes to restore the nearby Breakwater lighthouse in the future.

Michigan's Adventure opens for 2015

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) - The weather was perfect for the opening of Michigan's Adventure's 2015 season. The amusement park and Wildwater adventures started welcoming thrill seekers this weekend. Michigan's Adventure is the largest amusement park in our state with more than 60 rides.

The park is offering free admission to active and retired military personnel on Sunday and Monday, as a part of its Tribute to the Armed Forces program.

Lori's Voice donates beach wheelchair to Muskegon State Park

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- A trip to the beach in Muskegon is now a lot easier for people in wheelchairs.

The organization Lori's Voice donated a beach wheelchair to Muskegon State Park Friday.

Lori's Voice supports children with special needs and their families, and pays for things that medical insurance does not typically cover.

The park supervisor says the new wheelchair will be a great asset, and will be a big help with accessibility to beach visitors.

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Boy, 13, charged as adult in toddler's death

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) – A 13-year-old Muskegon Heights boy was arraigned Friday as an adult in family court on an open murder charge in the death of a toddler. Investigators say Jakari Pollard repeatedly kicked his cousin, 16-month-old A'Laina Brown, killing her on Feb. 27.

The victim's godmother says A'Lania's mother left the baby with Jakari and three to five other children at a Muskegon Township apartment.

"She left that house at 2 p.m. and did not return until 3 a.m. when she found her daughter dead. But If she would have been home with her child, it would have never happened," Jessica McCoy said.

Police reports say the child suffered severe injuries and may have been kicked or punched. An extensive autopsy showed A'Laina died of blunt force trauma and gave prosecutors additional information to make the charging decision.

Coast Guard helicopter back in West Michigan

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Memorial Day weekend has started, and the United States Coast Guard is ready to help.

Each year, just before Memorial Day, USCG sends one of its helicopters over from metro Detroit.

Friday, it arrived at the Muskegon air station.

Since Lake Michigan is a large area to cover, often times the only way to get to someone quickly is by air.

Crews are available 24 hours a day and each includes two pilots, an engineer, and a rescue swimmer.

"When we're flying on a case, and we're actually going to hoist someone, the flight mechanic will stand on this hatch, under the hoist, and direct us how to maneuver the helicopter to get in perfect position to effect the rescue," said Lt. Ryan Hammond.

Just before the season ended last year, crews had to rescue a kayaker from Lake Michigan.

Muskegon area says "Watch Us Go"

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- There's a new community image campaign on the lakeshore. The biggest supporters of the Muskegon area are challenging you to "Watch Us Go."

The campaign started by replacing the welcome sign leading into downtown Muskegon on Seaway Drive.

Backers say their community has numerous natural assets, new developments, and quality-of-life assets. There's a new farmers market, three breweries, restaurants, and shops -- and Muskegon County has more lakes and waterfront than other area counties.

Those behind the campaign say they are no longer going to sit back and let others dictate the conversations about what's happening in Muskegon.