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Kitesurfing takes over Muskegon State Park

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - The sport of kitesurfing emerged on the scene about a decade ago. 

But it's popularity didn't really take off until 2007, and that's right about when Marshall Torsch of Holton was introduced to the sport.

"Basically, it's the most exciting thing I've ever done,"says Torsch, who is a student at Ferris State University. "It just has to be windy; I don't have to put gas in my boat to do this."

When Torsch and several of his kitesurfing friends found out there was going to be six to ten foot waves on Lake Michigan this weekend, the only thing they could think about was enjoying the exhilaration of chasing the wind.

"I was ready; I was waiting," says Valerie Rissi, 49, from Whitehall. "I've been waiting for the wind all summer."

Rissi turns 50 years old next February and says she's set a big goal for herself.

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Muskegon festival organizer speaks out about liquor license dispute

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM)-The organizer of Muskegon's Shoreline Spectacular Festival is demanding answers from police after she was ordered to stop selling liquor at the event.

Festival director Pamela Carey says she has a valid, signed state license allowing her to sell liquor out of the festival's beer tent. But Carey says police officers came to her tent Friday night and threatened to shut her down if she didn't get rid of the her liquor.

"The liquor commission came and looked at my license and said, 'She absolutely has a legal liquor license to sell beer, wine and spirits,' so they let me continue last night," says Carey. "Then first thing today at one o'clock, they're back at my door saying, 'Nope. You don't have a legal liquor license. We're going to shut you down if you don't take your liquor out of there."

Carey says her festival only uses services and people from Michigan, and proceeds from the sales will go to local charities.

Shoreline Spectacular brings cougar competition to Muskegon

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - They wanted to generate excitement and do something fun, so the leaders of Muskegon's Labor Day weekend Shoreline Spectacular organized a "cougar competition."

"A lot of people have gotten involved, a lot of eyebrows have been raised and that's exactly what we wanted," says Shoreline Spectacular executive director Pamela Carey.

The competitors in the "cougar competition" are single, divorced or widowed women over age 35 who are attracted to younger men.

"22 [years old] and up," says contestant Sharlene Stanhope.

"They can keep up and do what older men can't do," adds contestant Sarah Stivitz.

"Maybe we like to train them," offers 41-year-old Teresa Ackerberg.

The competitors were judged on their introductory remarks, a dance routine and in their evening gowns. 

A handful of young male "cubs" were rounded up to escort the ladies and entertain the audience.

Frontier Communications to hire more employees

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM)- A Muskegon business that is expanding its service is now looking for more workers.  Frontier Communications recently bought underground lines from Verizon to help accommodate rural communities.  The lines run through 13 states including Michigan.

Bob Pero, the Area General Manager with Frontier Communications says,  "For the Michigan market, we're going to bring over 100 jobs to the Michigan market and you know recently we eliminated our customer service centers in India and brought all 600 of those jobs back to the U.S."

Frontier now serves 27 states.  The company has been around for 75 years.

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The Shoreline Spectacular Festival is underway in Muskegon

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM)- The cooler, windy weather in Muskegon didn't dampen die-hard's spirits as the Shoreline Spectacular Festival kicked off Friday.  This year's event includes live music, a variety of vendors, carnival games, a petting zoo and an art fair for children.

Organizers moved the festival to Western Avenue this year in hopes of attracting even more visitors.  The festival took a year off last year for reorganization.

The Executive Director of the Shoreline Foundation Pamela Carey says, "Shoreline Spectacular is bigger and better than ever.  We've revitalized it, revamped it we're growing it.  It's huge."

One of the most talked about features is the Finest Cougar Pageant which only older women are allowed to take part in.  That pageant begins at 7p.m. Friday at Muskegon's Holiday Inn.

The Shoreline Spectacular wraps up Monday.

Man hit on Seaway Drive in Muskegon

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM)- Muskegon Police say a 60-year old man was hit Friday morning while walking on Seaway Drive.  It happened around 1:30 a.m. near Hackley Avenue.

The man was injured and taken to a Grand Rapids hospital for treatment.  His condition is unknown.

Muskegon Police are investigating.  Captain Mark Lewis says it is unknown if alcohol was a factor in this event, either for the motorist or the pedestrian.


Wind & rough water force Ludington & Muskegon ferries to cancel service

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP/WZZM) -- Services on West Michigan's two ferries to Wisconsin are cancelled Friday because of strong winds and high waves on Lake Michigan.

The Lake Express Ferry, which runs between Muskegon and Milwaukee, cancelled all of its cross-lake trips for Friday because of lake conditions.

Operators of the Lake Express are offering to reschedule trips for passengers with Friday reservations, or refunds.

The company that owns the S.S. Badger out of Ludington says the car ferry won't be sailing due to conditions on the lake.

The Badger runs between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin but our partner the Ludington Daily News is reporting, the Badger's schedule for today have been halted. 

Officials say the "Badger was designed for severe weather conditions on the Great Lakes," but "today's sailing was canceled because of our concern for passenger comfort and safety."