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Woman, 62, dies after home catches fire


EGELSTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A 62-year-old woman has died after smoke and fire swept her mobile home on Christmas Day.

Susan Lanore died late Friday at a Grand Rapids hospital, said Mark Cleveland, the Egelston Township fire chief. Her death came hours after her home caught fire around 5:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of Brigadoon Lane. 

Firefighters reported flames coming from the roof upon arrival. They entered the home and found Lanore unresponsive on the kitchen floor, with smoke above her, Cleveland said.

She was taken to a Muskegon-area hospital before AreoMed transported her to Grand Rapids.

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Family displaced after home destroyed in Ravenna fire


RAVENNA, Mich. (WZZM) -- A family of three is without a home this Christmas Eve after their house burned to the ground in Muskegon County.

The fire occurred Thursday morning on Blackmer Road near Farr Road.

The family was able to get out safely, but their three dogs died. The house and pole barn are a total loss. Also damaged in the blaze were three vehicles nearby.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

For those that would like to help, you can bring clothing donations to Kristy Korson at 11939 Hts Ravenna Rd. She will make sure all donations get to the family. There's also some information about how to help on the Facebook page at this link.

Muskegon officers save Christmas after girls' presents stolen


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- A small pile of gifts intended for two young Muskegon girls were taken right from under their tree.

Police are investigating that home invasion in the 1600 block of Seventh Street, and while they want to catch those responsible, they also stepped in to save Christmas for the children.

Ameerah Stalling says late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, someone knocked in the kitchen window at her home on Seventh Street. Once inside, the thief or thieves stole movies, clothes, and the small pile of presents Santa had already left for Stalling's two daughters. Then, they fled, unlocking a door and leaving it wide open.

Stalling says returning to a home entered by strangers was unsettling. "I was so terrified; I was, like, hurt when I came into the house."

Beach Stampede youth football team preps for title game


FRUITPORT, Mich. (WZZM) -- Most of the current football buzz around the state involves Michigan State's quest for a football championship.

A much smaller team, much closer to home, is also heading to Texas with their own championship hopes.

The Beach Stampede have cruised through the state's youth football ranks and have been nearly unstoppable as they move on to the national tournaments.

Wednesday night, the Stampede practiced for the final time before they pack up and head to Dallas for the national championship.

Many of the teams they will face grab the best athletes from schools nearly 100 miles away. Players on the Beach Stampede come from a much smaller area. Twenty-one of the 24 students come from Fruitport, two from Mona Shores, and one from Reeths-Puffer.

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Warm weather allows for fishing, lawn work


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- There are those in West Michigan who might wish for snow instead of rain.

The weather pattern has many doing things they didn't expect this late in December.

With a temperature close to 60 degrees, Wednesday was a good day to do some yard work. The grass at Heritage Landing got a fresh cut.

"In this kind of warm weather the grass grows," said Ken Meyer with Complete Lawn Care and Snowplow. His lawn care company also does snowplowing, but lately the plows have not been needed. "Not a single time. We have plows ready; without snow you can't do much with them."

Muskegon Co. leaders want data center on wastewater site


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Legislation recently approved by the state House and Senate to attract the proposed $5 billion Switch data center to Kent County is already being used to market another location in West Michigan.

Economic development leaders in Muskegon County want a data center there, too.

The Muskegon County Wastewater Management site is 11,000 acres large. The county would like to lease or sell up to 650 acres to be used as a data center development site, said Muskegon County Economic Development Coordinator Jonathan Wilson, adding they've been working on it for a year.

Driver, 14, pleads not guilty in fatal Ravenna crash


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The 14-year-old boy accused of crashing an SUV he was driving and causing the death of his 10-year-old passenger made his first court appearance Tuesday in Muskegon County Juvenile Court.

Jeffrey Jennings died Dec. 3 after the SUV he was in crashed in Ravenna Township.

The teen driver is charged with three counts; including reckless driving, operating without a license and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

In court, the boys lawyer entered a not guilty plea and also waived a preliminary hearing on the charges. Because the boy is a minor, we are not using his name.