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Crews practice ice rescues


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) – Rescue crews from across the state gathered at Bear Lake Saturday for the inaugural Ice Rescue Conference and Education Day.

Hosted by the North Muskegon Fire Department, several departments and the United States Coast Guard, shared techniques they use when responding to ice rescues.

"We usually respond with a team of four that go out on the ice on foot," said Chris Apple, United States Coast Guard. "Time is of the essence."

While crews from the North Muskegon Fire Department use their hover craft, which can speed upwards of 60 miles per hour across a frozen lake.

Ice rescues are inherently dangerous, according to Steve Lague, North Muskegon's Fire Chief. "They're a high-risk, low probability situation where we can get in trouble very, very quickly," he said.

The have been no ice rescues in Muskegon County this year.


Muskegon hosts statewide culinary students' competition


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Culinary students from around Michigan showed off their skills in Muskegon on Friday.

They were competing for the American Culinary Federation State Hot Food championship at the Culinary Institute of Michigan.

There are two parts of the competition: the skills salon, where team members show one of four skills like butchering a chicken or filleting a fish, and the menu, where each team makes four servings of a four-course meal, according to Chef Chris Sowa.

"All these skills carry over to a restaurant and working in food service, just because you are in a hot, tense environment. It's a very stressful environment, just like it is here; they're getting watched all the time by the judges."

The winner of the competition moves on to the ACS Central Regional Championships, happening in Little Rock Arkansas in March.

Police: Woman featured on 'Dateline' scammed elderly Musk. man


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan State Police detectives and the Muskegon County Prosecutor are working to bring a Maryland woman to Muskegon for scamming an elderly man.

Jessica Travers, 20, is currently in custody in Baltimore on charges of unlawful possession of a motor vehicle and larceny by false pretenses over $20,000.

According to detectives, Travers met the Muskegon man on a flight from Detroit to Virginia and convinced him she was a cancer patient with two small children trying to find a way to pay for her medical bills. She gave the man a fake name and told him she was waiting for a large financial settlement, but needed a loan to pay for chemotherapy. The man agreed to lend her the money. His only income was from Social Security.

Muskegon woman wins $1M in lotto


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - A Muskegon woman is the winner of a $1,000,000 lottery jackpot.

The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, won Saturday's Lotto 47 drawing.

She bought the winning ticket at the E&A Pit Stop on east Apple Avenue in Muskegon.

She claimed her prize yesterday and will receive her winnings as a one-time lump sum of $666,000.

According to the lottery, she plans to use the money to pay down debt.


Orchard View HS evacuated due to threat


MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police have given the all clear at Orchard View High School following a bomb threat Tuesday morning.

Muskegon Township Police say they were made aware of a threat which was called to the Muskegon Police Department at about 9:40am. A second call came a few minutes later making the threat specific to the high school building.

The school was evacuated and students were moved to the middle school. The building has been deemed safe by the Michigan State Police and a K-9 unit. Students returned to classes at about 11:30am.

Investigators say that the calls came from public phones in California. They also believe that this "hoax" is probably from the same person making threats at other schools in Ottawa and Kent County.

Ryke's cookie poll takes Super Bowl predictions


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Muskegon bakery is once again inviting its customers to cast their votes in the Ultimate Smackdown Cookie Poll.

This is the sixth time Ryke's has been hosting this fun, and delicious, event.

Renee Rouwhorst joined the WZZM 13 News at 5 to explain how this all works. See what she has to say in the video above, and follow along on the Ryke's Facebook page at this link.


Former sheriff remembers Blizzard of '78


MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- January 26, 2015, included peeks at the sun over frozen Muskegon Lake. This same week 37 years ago, though, "was intense," as former Muskegon County Sheriff Bob Carter recalls it.

The snow storm that became the measuring stick for West Michigan dropped 35 inches of snow. School was out for more than a week. The snow started falling Wednesday night.

"I forged my way through it and never dreamed I would not get home until Saturday," Carter said. "That was Thursday morning."

Carter was a jail deputy at the time. He and other deputies knew outside streets were buried.

"There was nothing moving," he said. Few were able to move from place to place. Those who were were "People with four-wheel drives and people with snowmobiles," Carter says.