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'Not Guilty': Driver in deadly WI motorcycle crash

Fond du Lac, WI (WZZM/FDLreporter.com) Out of a wheelchair and looking despondent, Clinton Lovelace entered a not guilty plea Friday to multiple charges, including two counts of homicide by a vehicle while using a controlled substance.

Lovelace is accused of driving into the path of 12 Michigan motorcyclists traveling along Highway 151 north of Fond du Lac on May 31, hitting 10 of them when he crossed the centerline.

The 25-year-old Hilbert man appeared before Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Gary Sharpe while members of the motorcycle rights and safety organization Abate of Wisconsin sat in the courtroom.

The crash killed Douglas Younkers and Daniel Winsemius of Muskegon County.  Eric Vandam and Douglas Williams were critically injured and five other cyclists were treated for multiple injuries.

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Fundraiser set for Friday for raccoon attack victim

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Ten years ago, a raccoon attacked Charlotte Ponce, a 10 year-old West Michigan native, when she was an infant. She lost her nose, ear and lips in the attack and is set to have reconstructive surgery next month.

Charlotte will have the surgery at Beaumont Children's Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. Sharon Ponce, Charlotte's guardian, says that the family has mixed emotions about the procedure right now.

"She feels the same way as we kind of do...excited and nervous because this first surgery will take at least six hours, possibly ten depending on how difficult it is," Ponce said.

There is a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Charlotte tomorrow at Fellowship Reformed Church in Muskegon from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The church is located at 4200 E. Apple Ave. The dinner will be $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and student, $4 for children, and children 3 and under are free.

My Dog Spot is my dog's spot

My Dog Spot is my dog's spot

In February 2011, my husband and I decided to stop at the Harbor Humane Society in West Olive on our way home from Holland. We've always liked the shelter and always enjoy being around pets. We already own a lab/shepherd mix who we named Reese. And a cat, whose name has changed about a billion times and has most recently gone by the name Pantherrazzi (think Panther and Lady Gaga). Both of these babies were rescues from our local Muskegon Humane Society.

Anyway, this particular evening as we strolled through the "big dog room", we came across a kennel with a very interesting dog in it. This dog was TERRIFIED - Terrified of EVERY little thing.

I said to my husband, "this dog looks like some kind of a hound."

Lumberjacks’ Fall Classic schedule finalized

Lumberjacks’ Fall Classic schedule finalized

The Muskegon Lumberjacks’ 2012-13 season continues to take shape, as the United States Hockey League finalized the schedule for its annual Fall Classic talent showcase this week.

All 16 USHL teams will play three exhibition contests apiece in Sioux City, Iowa, from Sept. 19-22. Games will be split between the Tyson Events Center, home of the Sioux City Musketeers, and the nearby IBP Ice Center.

The Lumberjacks will play the defending Western Conference champion Waterloo Black Hawks Thursday, Sept. 20 at the IBP Ice Center at 11 a.m. to kick off the Fall Classic, which is a premier destination for NHL scouts and NCAA coaches to evaluate top USHL talent.

The Jacks will then play their final two Fall Classic matches at the Tyson Events Center, grappling with the Sioux Falls Stampede Friday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. and the Lincoln Stars at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. All listed times are Eastern.

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Fender bender: Fleet Engineers’ $2M expansion brings plastics in-house

Fender bender: Fleet Engineers’ $2M expansion brings plastics in-house

By Joe Boomgaard | MiBiz

MUSKEGON — A laser-like focus on controlling both cost and quality led to one local transportation industry supplier expanding into new capabilities and bringing previously outsourced production to its West Michigan operations.

Fleet Engineers Inc. at the end of June started production at its new plastic injection molding line inside a 10,500-square-foot addition to its campus in Muskegon. The expansion allows what had traditionally been a metal-based company to bring in-house the production of plastic truck fenders, which had previously been outsourced to firms in Detroit and Australia, said Wes Eklund, president of Fleet Engineers.

City officials pay thousands to fix former motel

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) - Muskegon Heights City officials are trying to put new life into a former motel, which they say has been a hot spot for illegal activities.  Last month, the city took control of the property on Hoyt Avenue and is now spending thousands of dollars in hopes that someone will buy it.

Gerrit Veldman with the nearby American Legion has seen the former motel switch hands many times, most recently as the Mona Lake Inn.

"It was a great Holiday Inn at one time," says Veldman.

Veldman says the sight of the rundown property is hard to swallow.

"People seem to enjoy smashing the windows out, I don't know why that is," says Veldman.

City officials say the property has become a spot for illegal activity and a safety hazard.

Muskegon Heights plans sports for fall

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Leaders with the new Muskegon Heights Public School Academy charter school say the athletic program is a work in progress, but say they are making progress.

The charter school replaced the debt riddled public school system earlier this year, but the efforts to add a new sports program have been quite a challenge.

The district's new athletic director, Glen Metcalf, answered parents' questions Monday night about the upcoming school year, including key sports, like football.

Metcalf so far he has scheduled seven varsity and seven junior varsity football games, and four or five volleyball games.

"My job right now is to pick up those pieces and make sure those schedules are filled to their capacity. We might only get eight games, but we will honor those contracts and make sure we have an opportunity for our young people to compete."